Will give workers better legal protection
Jonas Gahr Støre will give workers better legal protection, and promises to exploit the room for manoeuvre of the EEA Agreement to ensure a safer workplace.
Strong forces at the Trade Unions (LO) Congress wants to scrap the EEA agreement. Critics of the deal believe the EEA Agreement has led to more social dumping and unserious employment.
Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre said in his speech to the Trade Unions Congress that the EEA Agreement is not perfect.
But he warned strongly against terminating the agreement. He proposed instead a novelty: the Labour Party (AP) wants to implement important labour rights into the Human Rights Act. He also promises that a Labour-led Government will be using the much talked about, but never really used by any Government, leeway in the EEA Agreement actively.
– In Norwegian law, we have given certain human rights conventions extra strong position. The Human Rights Act states that these international agreements take precedence over Norwegian law. Now the Labour Party want to have important labour rights included in this Act, the wannabee Prime Minister said in his speech.
The criticisms of the EEA Agreement and some of the effects thereof have been a subject for both LO and Labour for some time. Labour (Ap) stated for instance at its National Congress that there are negative consequences of the agreement.
Several federations have before Congress’ decided to say no to the EEA Agreement, or will renegotiate all or part of it. In the debate during the Congress, several have shown great commitment against that “foreign powers controlling our tariff policy”, as LO veteran, Størk Hansen, from Oppland expressed it.
Therefore, it has both in the LO and the Labour Party for a long time been worked on various initiatives. The grip of incorporating key ILO conventions in Norwegian law will give workers better protection, says Støre. ILO is the UN’s International Labour Organization. ILO Conventions govern most parts of the workplace.
– This is something we’ve had dialogue on this for a long time. We do what we have done in other areas, incorporating important principles in the legislation and thereby make it more robust. It gives the courts an even stronger basis for interpretation.
Prohibit casual worker contracts
In his speech, Støre repeated the promise to the LO to remove the new rules for temporary employment and to ban fixed employment without pay between missions.
– One of the first things I want to do as prime minister is to ban casual labour contracts in the manning industry, he said.