State Mediator Mats Ruland has called in all parties involved in Norway’s nationwide bus strike to a meeting on Wednesday. Ruland hopes to spark dialogue between the unions and the bus operators’ national employers’ organization.
Ruland told state broadcaster NRK that Norway’s rising Corona infection rates are among the reasons he wants to try getting both sides back to the bargaining table. He thus cut short his autumn holidays to take the initative for a meeting, and hear the two sides’ versions of the status of the conflict that has pulled around 8,500 bus drivers off the job.
He denied that state health authorities had contacted him. There’s been some concern that state officials may force a settlement on the grounds that the strike can threaten the public’s health and lives during the Corona crisis.
The employers’ organization, NHO Transport, claimed it had nothing new to tell the mediator but claimed it would meet “with an open mind.” At least one union leader hoped the meeting could provide a foundation for new dialogue and that the bus companes’ representative would be willing to make a new offer.