Norwegian tour bus operators fear being out-competed by companies from Eastern Europe

Bus, alcohol testingIllustration.Bus Photo:

Norwegian bus operators believe that foreigners must compete on the same terms as the Norwegian ones. Many companies from Eastern Europe pay neither minimum wages nor Norwegian fees.

Surveys conducted by NHO Transport show that so far this summer observations have been made of almost 2,000 foreign coaches in Norway. This is an increase of about 6 per cent from the same period last year, writes Aftenposten.

The same buses have been registered several times during the summer, according to NHO Transport. According to John H. Stordrange, director of NHO Transport, this means that the buses will spend longer in Norway and take on more assignments internally than before. Most are Polish, Estonian or Lithuanian.

The only thing these companies buy in Norway is the fuel. It goes without saying that it gives them a significant competitive advantage, says Stordrange.

Last year, the Labour Inspectorate’s checks showed a high proportion of breaches of the collective agreement, the newspaper writes. Drivers should have at least NOK 155.87 per hour, but 77 per cent of the surveyed foreign drivers were not paid wages accordingly. The National Highroads Agency controls have also revealed violations of the cabotage rules.

It is perfectly okay with foreign drivers and buses, but they have to compete on equal terms. It is impossible for a Norwegian company to compete on price when they don’t comply, says Gunnulf Hegna and Kjell Bjerke, drivers for the bus company H.M. Kristiansen Automobilbyrå, which is one of the largest Norwegian operators.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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