Restaurateurs guilty of forced labour

Kitchen workers in a restaurant. Photo:

Restaurant owners in Stavanger convicted of forced labour

A couple who run a restaurant in Stavanger have been sentenced to prison for employing forced labour. The chefs were paid in rupees and were free for two days in a year.

According to the judgment in Stavanger District Court, four chefs were exploited by the restaurant owners. The 41-year-old man and the 36-year-old woman were sentenced for human trafficking for forced labour and were imprisoned for two years and two months, and one year and six months respectively. They must pay NOK 670,000 and NOK 215,000 in compensation to two of the chefs in addition to NOK 55,000 in redress to all four of the chefs wrote Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper.

It was the chefs themselves who notified the Labour Inspectorate in Stavanger about the conditions in December 2014. After three days, the police and the Labour Inspectorate acted, and the restaurant owners ended up in custody.

Poor working conditions

The judgment described very poor working conditions for the Indian chefs. The kitchen they worked in was 27 square meters, and in parts of the room the ceiling height was 1.6 meters. Thus, the employees were forced to stand with a bent head to work.

The couple also operated with a fictitious pay system where a Norwegian tariff and a Norwegian salary were reported, but in reality much less money was paid in rupees that were sent straight to the chefs’ families in India.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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