Agreement reached, labor strikes in retail trade averted

Coop at Skøyen in OsloCoop at Skøyen in Oslo.Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

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There will be no strike for the more than 5,000 workers in retail trade. Eight hours into negotiation overtime, the parties came to an agreement.

The announcement was made on Saturday morning.

The parties agreed to remove the twelve-hour rule.

Those who work less than twelve hours a week have not previously been entitled to allowances for evening, night, and weekend work.

“Getting rid of the twelve-hour rule has been an important equality requirement for us for many years.

Without the twelve-hour rule, it will now be far more attractive to offer part-time employees an increased percentage of full-time employment.

That is a requirement for full-time work, and it is also a gender equality requirement,” union leader Christopher Beckham at the Union of Employees in Commerce and Offices (Handel og Kontor i Norge) noted.

Handel og Kontor aimed to receive full pay during illness, but no agreement was reached.

Sustainability as a part of the agreement

At the same time, this was the first time the parties managed to negotiate the inclusion of environment and climate issues into the collective agreements.

“This agreement builds competence in the companies and stimulates sustainable change in the trade and service industry.

The goal is to secure Norwegian jobs and competitiveness in the future, and this is a good step in that direction,” Enterprise Federation of Norway (Virke) manager Ivar Horneland Kristensen said.

Break in August

At midnight on Saturday night, the deadline for mediation between the employees’ organization Handel og Kontor and the employers’ organization in Virke expired.

The mediation also covered those organized in the employee organization Parat.

Negotiations on a new National Agreement went to mediation after a break in the negotiations between Virke and Handel og Kontor on August 28. 

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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