The government will allow Kiel ferries of Color Line to join the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS). 700 employees are in danger of losing their jobs because of the decision. The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions’ (LO) incoming leader reacted sharply.
‘This is sacrificing Norwegian sailors to give companies the opportunity to use cheap foreign labour’, said LO’s deputy, and leader-elect, Hans-Christian Gabrielsen, to Dagsavisen newspaper.
Two weeks ago, the Norwegian Minister for Industry, Monica Mæland, sent a proposal for consultation, to soften the regulations for ships sailing under international flags.
For years, Color Line has threatened to stop operating in Norway if they are not given the opportunity to flag ships over from the Norwegian Ship Register (NOR) to the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS). Gabrielsen urged the government to withdraw the draft proposal.
‘LO would urge the government to withdraw the proposal and instead enter a dialogue with management and employee representatives in the company about alternative solutions to keep the entire fleet under the NOR flag’, said Gabrielsen.
The leader, Johnny Hansen of the Norwegian Seafarers’ Union, said he expects about 700 of the employees on the ships M/S Color Fantasy and M/S Color Magic, which operate between Oslo and Kiel, to be replaced by foreign labor.
‘The government say they will prevent relocation, but they will not prevent the erasure of the Norwegian jobs’, said Hansen to Sysla.
To be registered in NOR, it is a requirement that the crew work at the Norwegian wage and with Norwegian working conditions. The same requirement does not apply to NIS.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today