National employers’ organization NHO took the unusual step on Thursday of declaring a lockout against striking nurses at privately run health care facilities. The nurses have been on strike since October 25, and now accuse NHO of trying to force public authorities to end the strike.
Local or state authorities can step in if life and health are seen as under threat by a strike. In the small island community of Austevoll on Norway’s west coast, with only one nursing home run by private firm Aleris, the situation may become serious: NHO’s lockout will shut down the facility, also to those nurses not on strike. Only one nursing manager would be left to care for all of its 48 patients plus 116 people who receive nursing help at home.
The lockout, which would prevent all 500 nurses at targeted facilities around Nroway from going to work, is due to take effect from November 20. Only 55 have actually been on strike so far, demanding higher pay.