Strike looms in retail sector

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More than 200 employees at 48 various retail shops around Norway may be called out on strike this weekend if their union, Handel og Kontor, fails to reach a new pay agreement with a retail division of employers’ organization NHO.

Most unionized store employees in Norway work for members of another employers organization, Virke. NHO, best known for its large business members, is keen to expand in the retail sector and already represents some jewelry stores and bakeries. NHO offers its members a lower pay scale system than Virke, but had said it would honor Virke’s pay rates until it negotiated its own deal with the unions.

Now they’ve gone into mediation after the union claimed NHO is offering employees as much as NOK 2,000 less per month than Virke. “We want to harmonize pay within the retail sector,” Trine Lise Sundnes of the Handel og Kontor union told newspaper Dagsavisen.

If no agreement is reached, a strike will be called at stores from Bodø in the north to Kristiansand in the south on Saturday.

newsinenglish.no staff