Transport and cleaning strikes spread

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There’s likely to be fewer goods on retailers’ shelves, far fewer deliveries of all kinds, and dirtier offices and public areas in Norway this week. Strikes in both the transport and cleaning branches were spreading on Tuesday with no settlements in sight.

A strike by workers at various cargo terminals around Norway started last weekend, but only the Oslo area was initially hit. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) was given special treatment and allowed to have equipment and costumes shipped out of local terminals, so as not to spoil NRK’s production of the annual Eurovision Song Contest this week.

Now, however, the strike among employees in such transport firms as DHL, Schenker, Tollpost Globe and Bring is spreading and most of the country was due to feel the consequences. More workers were walking off the job, unhappy over conditions for substitute and temporary employees.

The state wine and liquor retailer Vinmonopolet was among those not getting shipments of new goods, as the labour conflict stalled after a lack of contact on Monday between either side.

More members of the union representing cleaning personnel around Norway, Norsk Arbeidsmandsforbund, were also heading out on strike. They’re dissatisfied over pay and working conditions, so such varied locations as targeted airports, offices, the military barracks at Rena and several shopping centers were losing their cleaning staffs.

Another 1,000 cleaning personnel were walking off the on Tuesday, also affecting various schools targeted around the country, in Ålesund, Moss, Halden and Sarpsborg.

Cleaning personnel haven’t gone out on strike since 1974 but now are demanding that minimum pay be raised in line with other branches. A total of 2,556 workers were on strike early this week, with a third strike wave to spread next week if negotiations remained stalled.

Views and News staff