Construction industry fights ‘mafia’ operations

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Norway’s construction industry has banded together in a bid to fend off what its officials call “mafia operations” that evade taxes and engage in social dumping. Building firms propose establishing a central register to ensure that subcontractors have their affairs and those of their workers in order.

The register would include everything from taxes paid by contractors to the qualifications of their individual employees. “The goal is to get rid of mafia operations through a system that won’t allow non-serious players access to the market,” Per Jæger of industry association Boligprodusentenes Forening told news bureau NTB.

The register was welcomed by government minister Jan-Tore Sanner, who was pleased the industry was coming up with concrete proposals to fend off rogue operators that bid for jobs through shell companies and exploit workers, many of them migrant workers from abroad.

Trade union federations that also have been fighting social dumping in Norway welcomed the proposal as well. The measures proposed by a so-called “expert group” representing several industry organizations “won’t just help the industry but the whole society,” said Halvor Langseth of trade union federation Fellesforbundet, which has objected to its members’ pay levels being undercut by exploited migrant workers.

newsinenglish.no staff