Norway: Fighting for equal pay and pensions

31 August 2012
Workers in private nursing homes in Norway on strike.

Seventy-nine nursing assistants, members of PSI affiliate, Fagforbundet (the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees) went on strike on 22 August. The nursing assistants all work for private nursing homes.

“The strike was inevitable. The employers don’t value their employees, or meet the standards in the industry at large”, chief negotiator from Fagforbundet, Kjellfrid Blakstad said to fagbladet.no (the union magazine).

“Employees in the privately-run nursing homes lose out on both wages and pensions compared with those working in the public sector” says Blakstad.

One of the nursing assistants on strike is Maryam Nejati. She works part-time at a municipal nursing home, and part-time at the private nursing home Risenga. The wage difference is obvious when she compares her two paychecks.

“I enjoy working at Risenga. I have nice colleagues and a good working environment, but it's not unreasonable to want equal pay for equal work”, says Nejati.

President of Fagforbundet, Jan Davidsen, assures the strikers that the whole organisation is backing them:

“If the employers think they only have 79 persons to deal with during this strike, they are mistaken. We have 329,000 members in our trade union and we’re all standing behind the strikers”, says Davidsen to fagbladet.no.

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