Norway’s Unions, Employers Reach Wage Deal to Avoid Strike

Norway’s unions and employers averted a strike by clinching a wage agreement with the help of the state mediator.

“After very demanding negotiations, and with good help from State Mediator Mats W. Ruland, the social partners managed to find a common solution in this year’s interim settlement,” the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise said in a statement. A 2.7% wage increase was agreed, it said. VG was first to report the deal.

Regular talks between the employer group and the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, or LO, covering wages for about 180,000 workers broke down last month, leading to mandatory mediation. LO said on Friday that about 23,000 workers would strike if a final round of mediated talks didn’t produce a deal by midnight on Saturday. In addition, the Confederation of Vocational Unions warned 5,500 of its bus drivers would join the walkout.

The Norwegian Technical Calculation Committee for Wage Settlements, which provides input for wage talks, last month raised its forecast for inflation this year to 2.8% from 2.6% in February, citing oil price increases. With Norway’s underlying inflation exceeding the central bank’s 2% target for the past year, the unions demanded that there would be no decline in real wages.

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