After more than seven weeks on the picket line, hundreds of employees at 15 publicly owned theaters and concert halls around Norway are heading back to work this week. They finally won better pension plans, after years of negotiations and help from the state mediator.
The strike had kept expanding, just as theater and concert managers were trying to win back audiences and fill seats again as the Corona crisis eased. The mostly backstage and technical workers at venues from the National Opera and Ballet in Oslo to the Vestnorsk Theater in Bergen will now receive life-long and gender neutral pension plans from April 1, 2022.
“We had good and fruitful negotiations through the weekend,” state mediator Mats Wilhelm Ruland told reporters after a settlement was finally struck around 3:30am on Monday. “The talks ended with a solution both parts accepted in the middle of the night.”
The strike had forced cancellation of several productions and threatened the upcoming Christmas entertainment season. Now all involved were keen to get on with the show and welcome back the public.