Around 3,500 workers at 363 hotels and restaurants in Norway were called out on strike on Saturday, after nearly 12 hours of negotiations in overtime failed to produce a settlement with hotel and restaurant employers. The strike will begin from 8am on Sunday.
Not only will it disrupt operations at the hotels and restaurants involved but also at a string of canteens for both private and public sector workers, including those at the parliament building (Stortinget), government ministries, the national hospital (Rikshospitalet) and the Oslo Police District’s headquarters.
The labour organization representing the hotel and restaurant workers (Fellesforbundet) and the organization representing hotel and restaurant employers (NHO Reiseliv) failed to resolve their differences despite the efforts of a state mediator. “We’re striking because the employers have refused to accept our main demand, which is the right to have local negotiations as well,” union leader Jørn Eggum told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
Norway’s hotels and tourism industry has recently been reporting high occupancy rates and strong profits, not least because Norway’s weak krone has made the country a much more attractive, and less expensive, travel destination. Eggum said NHO Reiseliv had nonetheless also rejected the trade union federation’s demands for higher pay for its lowest-paid members.
Hotels affected are located all over Norway in Buskerud, Hordaland Nordland, Sør-Trøndelag and Vestfold counties, plus Oslo. The unions are calling anywhere from one to 30 or more employees off the job, while hotels and restaurants in Rogaland County, hard-hit by the oil and offshore slowdown, seem to have been shielded from the strike.
Among hotels targeted are Dr Holms Hotel in the mountain town of Geilo, the Klækken Hotel in Hønefoss, four Thon Hotels in Bergen, the Bristol, Bondeheimen, Gabelshus, Savoy and several Scandic and Thon hotels in Oslo, and Radisson hotels in Trondheim, Oslo. Restaurants targeted include the huge Friday’s restaurant at Aker Brygge and on Karl Johans Gate in Oslo, Hard Rock Café, several Peppes Pizza restaurants and the Åpent Bakeri on Inkognito Terrasse.
For a complete list of the hotels and restaurants targeted so far, click here (external link to NRK, in Norwegian).