Striking Norway barbers: 'Let your hair grow'
Unions representing striking Norwegian hairdressers have called on members to indulge in a little follicle flamboyance after failing to reach a pay deal with employer representatives.
Mediation between the Fagforbundet union and NHO Handel, representing employers, collapsed on Wednesday night sparking strike action.
The union approved an offer tabled by mediators but NHO Handel rejected the deal paving the way for conflict.
Some 33 hairdressers from 11 salons in Trondheim and Kristiansand have subsequently downed their scissors and unplugged their clippers.
"We are angry and disappointed. The barber profession is dominated by women, and one can get the impression that employers do not quite understand that we are talking about professional people with skills," said union negotiator Stein Gulbrandsen.
"People live off their job, and this is not a game. We were willing to accept the mediator's offer, but our counterpart showed no willingness to meet us in a serious manner," he said.
Gulbrandsen accused employers of showing the unions "the cold shoulder" and forcing the conflict.
Unions had been demanding a hike in the minimum wage and for supplements for working inconvenient hours, such as Saturdays after 1pm.
The union urged all members of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) to support the strikers in a show of hirsute defiance.
"Let your hair grow during the hairdresser strike. Many hairdressers are not (union) organized, so it is extra difficult to fight a battle in this industry," he said.