Bus union leader Jim Klungnes: “We secured a great victory”

Jim KlungnesPhoto: Terje Bendiksby / NTB
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The outcome of the bus strike was met with harsh criticism from several sides. However, Jim Klungnes, the Yrkestrafikkforbundet (YTF) union’s leader, is very happy with the end result.

“These were very demanding negotiations, but we are satisfied with the result. It’s almost twice as good as what the employer was offering when the break in the negotiations occurred,” Klungnes told news bureau NTB.

“We believe we secured a great victory,” he said.

Klungnes emphasized that the strike also helped to secure support for drivers among the Norwegian people and the passengers. 

He believes that Norwegian citizens now have more knowledge about the circumstances of the bus drivers.

“A betrayal”

But not everyone is as happy as Klungnes.

“This result is a betrayal of the bus drivers”, Annstein Garnes of Unibuss in Oslo told Fri Fagbevegelse.

“This result is like getting hit in the face,” he added.

Garnes pointed out that the bus drivers ended up with a salary increase of NOK 16,000, which is much lower than the NOK 40,000 required to close the salary gap between the drivers and industrial workers.

Per Ole Melgård, the bus drivers’ leader in the Fellesforbundet union, is also critical of the agreement. 

He said he would not support it in the referendum.

“Personally, I want to vote ‘no,’ but we will have a discussion at a board meeting,” he told Fri Fagbevegelse.

Strike to continue?

Klungnes is not surprised that the result has not been to everyone’s liking.

“Some are strongly against it, some are very supportive of it, and some are in between,” he told NTB.

He emphasized that the collective bargaining agreement will be renegotiated in 2022.

“The alternative is a further strike with an unknown outcome,” Klungtveit noted.

“Many are happy that the strike is over, but some think the result is bad,” he added.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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