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Airport security strike widens as talks collapse

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Airport security strike widens as talks collapse
Photo: Erlend Aas/Scanpix
09:40 CEST+02:00
Air passengers in Norway can expect widespread disruptions on Monday as 1,200 more security personnel go on strike after wage negotiations collapsed on Sunday evening.

Shortly before midnight, the Norwegian Union of General Workers and employer organization NHO Services announced that their meeting with mediator Kari Gjesteby had failed to bring about a resolution to the dispute.

Both groups said their negotiators would meet again on Monday in a bid to end a dispute that has brought several airports to a standstill.

“We’re still as far apart from each other but we’re trying to be constructive,” said NHO chief negotiator Petter Furulund as he left Sunday night’s meeting.

As expected, the breakdown in talks meant a further 1,200 security employees were called out on strike on Monday morning, bringing the total number of striking security workers to 3,000. An additional 439 workers will join the strike on Wednesday unless a deal is reached before then.

The expanded strike led to airport closures on Monday in Kristiansund, Alta and Sandnessjøen.

The strike has already affected thousands of travellers since talks broke down on Friday.  

Long queues formed on Sunday afternoon for security checks at Oslo Gardermoen airport, where security staff numbers were halved at the weekend. The situation had normalized somewhat by the evening as some passengers helped keep the lines in order.

“I want to give major credit to passengers who have made sacrifices to ensure that things are going as well as they are at the country’s airports,” airline SAS spokesman Knut Morten Johansen told news agency NTB. 

“This is a difficult situation both for travelers and for those of us operating the flights.”

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