NRK workers go on strike

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Around 1,700 employees of Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) were called out on strike from 1pm on Tuesday, a move that will result in far less broadcasting of news and public affairs in Norway. The strike comes right before Norway’s Constitution Day on the 17th of May, when NRK normally broadcasts coverage of celebrations all over the country, from early morning to late at night.

That now seem unlikely to be offered this year. National mediator Torkjel Nesheim declared just before noon on Tuesday that the two sides in the labour conflict were too far apart to continue mediation. Negotiations were thus halted between employers’ organization Spekter, representing NRK’s management, and the employees’ labour organization Norsk Journalistlag.

Richard Aune, leader of the journalists’ union at NRK, claimed there hadn’t been any “real” negotiations. “We don’t think NRK has raised a finger during the mediation,” Aune told NRK’s own reporters still on the job at website nrk.no.

The union has been trying to reduce the pay gap between NRK journalists and many of those working in the private sector. Other non-journalist workers at NRK, represented by LO Stat, reached agreement with Spekter through mediation.

There hasn’t been a strike at NRK since the spring of 2006, when journalists were off the job for eight days. Another strike in 1990 lasted for 25 days.

newsinenglish.no staff