Nortura, the Norwegian farmers’ coop that regulates the meat market, confirmed Tuesday that 147 workers will lose their jobs at meat-packing plants in Steinkjer and Stavanger. Both plants are being closed, with operations set to be merged into a new facility in Tønsberg.
The 79 workers i Steinkjer in Trøndelag and 68 workers in Stavanger will be offered jobs in the new plant in Tønsberg, but few are expected to accept such long transfers. A press release from Nortura Tuesday reported that the new “modernized” plant won’t be ready until after the summer of 2023, “at which point meat-packing in Steinkjer and at Forus in Stavanger will gradually be phased out.”
Employees in Stavanger demonstrated against the shutdown. Nortura’s board leader Trine Hasvang Vaag said she understood that many were disappointed.
“We know this will be hard for many,” Vaag told state broadcaster NRK. The consolidation comes despite strong operating results for the period from May to August. “We have to boost income for the farmers,” she said. “And we have to increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of our products.” She said employees losing their jobs will get help to find new ones, “either in or outside of Nortura.”