Spanish Embassy to court for social dumping

Cleaning toilet Embassy of SpainCleaning is a necessary 'evil'. Photo:

Embassy of Spain to court for social dumping

The Norwegian Federation of Civil Servants believes that the Royal Embassy of Spain in Norway is engaged in social dumping and pays its employees ‘slave wages’. The trade union, therefore, files a lawsuit.

According to the trade union, the employees at the embassy have a very low salary – even below the EU poverty line. Nor should they have received holiday pay, any supplementary, overtime or salary increase for several years, reports NRK.

Conditions apply to local employees who are not diplomats. ie drivers, chefs, cleaners and office workers. It is the Spanish state that is the employer. The employment contracts state that Spain must comply with Norwegian law.

The wage is allegedly between NOK 230,000 and 270,000. Many work 12–13 hours a day though, according to the Norwegian Federation of Civil Servants (NTL).



Called in without prior notice

“Several have abruptly been told that they must meet at work. Cleaners must work at night because there has been a festive occasion – without addition or overtime pay,” Federal Secretary of NTL, Tove Helvik, informs.

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority has no right to check the working conditions of the employees, as the embassy is Spanish territory, but several employees confirm the information, both to NRK and Fri Fagbevegelse (Free Trade Union).

The Federation has filed a notice of litigation via the Conciliation Council. The Embassy of Spain has eight weeks to respond before the case, possibly, ends up in Oslo District Court.

The Royal Embassy of Spain informs NRK that employees receive salaries every month, also during holidays. In addition, they receive two additional payments of NOK 3,500 this year. NTL, nevertheless, believes that this is not in accordance with the Norwegian Holiday Act.

The embassy does not want to comment on the other claims, but state that it follows Norwegian law.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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