Norway and Russia strike new fishing deal

For the second time in recent weeks, Norway and Russia have shown they can rise above political tensions to strike agreements on some key Arctic issues. After first agreeing on how seismic vessels can cross back and forth over the two countries’ offshore border in the Barents Sea, now they’ve agreed on a new batch […]

Train strike rolls on into Sørlandet

Commuters and other train passenger have faced hundreds of cancellations since a strike by locomotive engineers began September 28. PHOTO:

Nearly half of all the trains running along Norway’s southern coast will grind to a halt from Wednesday, after striking locomotive engineers decided to pull more of their colleagues off the job. The strike remains deadlocked, with no relief in sight for Oslo area commuters. The labour federation representing the engineers decided on Friday to expand their strike […]

Trade ministers gather in Oslo

From its perch on a hilltop above Oslo, the Voksenåsen Hotel and Conference Center can offer some inspirational views for trade ministers from around the world. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

It’s being called an “informal” meeting on trade, but with foreign and trade ministers from 24 countries traveling to Oslo and taking part, also from China and Russia, the high-level gathering reflects a major effort to rally forces to “save” international trade and ward off protectionism. Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende invited them all to the relatively […]

Embracing an uncertain future

Lots of oil industry workers are currently having to look for new work, and those who come from outside Europe often don't qualify for unemployment benefits in the meantime. Some are forced to leave the country, and the engineers' union NITO calls that a "lose-lose situation." PHOTO: Statoil

SPECIAL FEATURE: The dive in oil prices has pushed thousands of people in Norway out of once-secure jobs in the oil and offshore industry. As job losses have mounted, so have feelings of uncertainty and anxiety among those out of work, even as the market has shown signs of improvement. Clinical psychologist Nicola McCaffrey, based in […]

Electric cars may lose some incentives

Electric cars have become enormously popular in Norway, not least the Tesla Model S, largely because of all the tax incentives they've had. The Progress Party still supports tax breaks for low- and zero-emission vehicles, but is backpedaling on any plan to ban sales of fuel-driven cars from 2025. PHOTO: Norsk elbil forening

As Norwegian politicians argue over how “green” their budgets are, one aspect of the proposed state budget is raising red flags. Norway’s conservative government coalition wants to raise annual registration fees for electric cars while lowering those on some vehicles fueled by diesel and gasoline, thus cutting into the incentives that have made the country […]

More suffering minks found at fur farms

Norwegian fur farms face a highly uncertain future after repeated reports of negligence and injured animals in recent years. Now state regulators have found more suffering minks, and say it’s difficult to secure animal welfare at the farms. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Wednesday that exasperation among the authorities at state food and animal safety agency Mattilsynet […]

Labour federation bucks oil industry

Lofoten, oil - grafitti on a stone in Svolvær, march 2013

The leader of Norway’s largest trade union federation, Fagforbundet, is challenging both its umbrella organization LO, the oil industry and the two parties leading Norway’s minority coalition by coming out in favour of protecting especially sensitive coastal areas off Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja from oil exploration. The powerful union group’s leader Mette Nord is also calling […]

State also guilty of gender pay gaps

Trade Minister Monica Mæland, who's had to deal with a string of  corruption cases lately, wasn't happy with DNB's answers to her questions about its involvement with tax havens. Now she is demanding more information. PHOTO: Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet

Wide pay gaps have been found between male and female CEOs at Norway’s wholly state-owned companies in charge of everything from the railroad to airports and hospitals. Women leaders often earn less than their male colleagues, and the salary and benefits gap is raising questions in a country otherwise known for promoting egalitarian policies. The gap became […]

Authorities probe oil rig fire and leaks

Norway’s state regulator of the oil industry, Petroleumstilsynet, claimed on Monday that workers could have been killed over the weekend when two gas leaks and a fire broke out on three of Statoil’s offshore installations. They intend to launch a full investigation. “We are taking all three incidents very seriously,” Inger Anda, director of communications for […]

Three alarms hit Statoil platforms

Statoil suffered had emergencies on offshore installations during the weekend, including one here on Gullfaks A, off the coast of Sogn og Fjordane. PHOTO: Statoil/Øyvind Hagen

UPDATED: Norwegian state oil company Statoil was hit by three emergencies on three different offshore installations during the weekend. In one case, a fire on a rig forced the evacuation of scores of workers, and labour organizations are worried. “We got an alarm from the platform chief (at 8:20am Sunday) about a fire and smoke in an equipment shaft […]