More than a thousand employees of privately-operated day care centers walked off the job on Monday, with another thousand due to follow them from Thursday. A conflict over pension plans has left parents scrambling to find alternative care for their pre-schoolers.
Negotiations between the national organization representing the day care centers (Private Barnehagers Landsforbund, PBL) and three labour union federations broke down over the weekend, resulting in the first phase of the strike by 1,007 employees at 112 day care centers in Oslo, Østfold, Trøndelag and Vestlandet.
One of the union federations, Fagforbundet, announced that another 1,000 employees will join them from Thursday. “We are very disappointed that the employers aren’t upholding a promise of early retirement for our members, like the municipal- and other private day care centers have,” stated the union. “This is a strike for which PBL must take full responsibility.”
Not so, retorted PBL, which claims it never promised early retirement plans for its members’ employees. PBL also called the unions’ demands “unrealistic,” with no signs of mediation in sight.