Not all unions are happy with the deal that ended the bus strike in Norway

Jørn Eggum - Stein GuldbrandsenPhoto: Berit Roald / NTB

After more than ten days, the bus strike came to an end on Thursday morning.

A majority of the negotiating delegation recommended a settlement. The result of the negotiations will now be put to a referendum by the four organizations’ members.

If the proposal receives a majority among the total membership, the settlement will be approved.

However, not all union delegations were happy with the final deal.

Chief negotiator Stein Guldbrandsen in the Fagforbundet told news bureau NTB that the union’s delegation is not completely satisfied. 

The four unions gave a joint positive answer to NHO’s offer, but the delegations were divided. 

Fagforbundet in the minority

Fagforbundet’s delegation was in the minority – they didn’t want to accept the offer. 

“We fully understand that the backlog in the industry can’t be resolved in one settlement. However, we think the steps taken this year and probably next year are too small, in relation to the agreement on the wage levels in the Bus Industry Agreement,” he said.

In the Bus Industry Agreement, which was introduced in 2007, it was agreed that the bus drivers would have an average industrial worker’s salary, a requirement that the employees believe has not been met. 

Additionally, Fagforbundet is dissatisfied that the settlement didn’t address other requirements, such as the notion that bus drivers should be given sufficient time for safety checks. 

Gulbrandsen now believes that the agreement can be voted down among the union’s members.

He believes that the delegation knows its union members well and that the members will also probably vote “no” to the proposal.

However, in the referendum, it is the overall result that counts. Fagforbundet represents far fewer bus drivers than Fellesforbundet and Yrkestrafikkforbundet.

“A balanced solution”

Jon Stordrange, CEO of NHO Transport, is satisfied with the solution that has been brokered.

“We are happy that the strike is over. Not least for the sake of the passengers, who can again use the bus to get to work, school, and leisure activities in an environmentally friendly and safe way,” Stordrange noted in a press release.

He also elaborated NHO Transport’s views on the solution.

“We are satisfied with a balanced solution that both parties can live with. It is important to end the strike as soon as possible for the sake of the passengers,” he added.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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