Security guards go on strike

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More than 800 security guards were called out on strike Wednesday after labour negotiations broke down between employers’ organizations and the private security guards’ unions. It’s the first strike in Norway since the Corona crisis set in last spring, and comes at a time when many guards are already laid off.

Their unions, however, couldn’t accept the rejection of many of their demands. “We had expected the guards would be offered something closer to industrial workers’ pay rates,” Anita Johansen of one of the unions, Norsk Arbeidsmandsforbund (NAF), told state broadcaster NRK. That didn’t happen, and she claimed many other demands regarding working conditions and pay for interns weren’t met either.

Employers’ organization NHO Service og Handel countered that the Corona pandemic has hurt many companies that hire in security guards, that they’ve already laid off or terminated guards, and that going out on strike was unreasonable. Johansen retorted that the guards are part of a traditionally low-paid group and felt they didn’t have any choice but to strike.

The parties have been in mediation since August 27, without success. Guards working for companies Securitas and Avarn were called out on strike first. The strike will spread if negotiations don’t resume and succeed, and may eventually involve up to 5,000 guards nationwide.

newsinenglish.no staff