Workers – many of them migrants from Poland and Lithuania – have been on strike since September 8 at the fish processing company Norse Production near Bergen on the west coast of Norway. Organized in the IUF-affiliated Norwegian Food and Allied Workers Union (NNN), they are demanding the right to a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the company.
The NNN has a long-running dispute with the company over working conditions and the treatment of foreign workers. Most employment contracts provide no secure working hours and workers are threatened with the loss of their jobs if they join the union.
After several meetings with the company and compulsory mediation which failed to reach an agreement, the NNN called a strike. On October 22, 150 trade unionists from across Norway rallied with the strikers to show their support.
Norse Production was established by Salmon and Trout producer Sekkingstad AS in 2012 to preempt Norwegian legislation introduced in January 2013 to implement EU regulations on equal treatment of temporary agency workers. Norse Production now employs some 120 people, most of them working in rotating shifts with five weeks on work and three weeks off. Sekkingstad AS, which owns the Norse Production site and equipment, supplies non-branded fish products to some100 customers in over 52 countries, including Denmark, England, France, Spain, Italy, South Korea, USA, Japan and Taiwan.