Strikes For Members

How the general strike in Norway will affect you

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
How the general strike in Norway will affect you
Following unsuccessful talks and a collapse in mediation between trade union and employer delegates, there is now a widespread strike in progress. Photo by Tom Vanhoof on Unsplash

More than 24,000 workers in Norway are on strike. The industrial action affects the production and delivery of food, drinks and furniture, as well as hospitality and travel. Here's what you need to know.


On Monday over 24,000 members of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS) went on strike over wages.

This is the first time in 23 years that there has been a strike during an interim wage settlement (mellomoppgjør). The unions have characterised it as a "class struggle."

"Of course, it is not a situation we wanted. It is serious for those who go on strike and would rather go to work," LO leader Peggy Hessen Følsvik said at a press conference on Sunday.

Numerous industries and services affected – key figures

The general strike started on Monday at 6am, and a total of 22,947 LO members and 1,441 YS members joined the strike.

The strike will take place nationwide – at beer breweries, hotels, ferries, shipyards, and Ikea warehouses, to name just some of the facilities and services affected.


Closed beer taps and soft drinks off the shelf? 

The Norwegian Food and Allied Workers Union (NNN) is taking 1,600 of its members out on strike, including many brewery employees.

Ringnes, Aass, and Hansa Borg are affected.

"Unfortunately, as a consequence of the strike, we have to stop production from the morning of Monday, April 17th, Stina Kildedal-Johannessen at Hansa Borg – one of Norway's most prominent breweries - told the Norwegian news agency NTB.

Ringnes, where 500 out of 900 employees will join the strike, has also announced that they will have to stop production and deliveries due to the strike.

"The strike means that soon the shops will run out of drinks, and the beer taps in bars and restaurants will be closed," communications manager Nicolay Bruusgaard in Ringnes told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

The strike also affects the production and delivery of soft drinks. Supermarket chain Coop Norge has said that if the strike isn't resolved in the coming weeks they will begin to run out of soft drinks. Meanwhile, Norway's largest operator in the grocery sector, Norgesgruppen, said it wasn't sure how long stocks would last. 


Electricians, industrial workers, offshore professionals…

The LO organisation has also put 2,500 electricians in 43 companies in 20 Norwegian municipalities on strike.

"It will be felt in the shipyard industry and construction, primarily," Geir Ove Kulseth, leader of the Electrician and IT Workers' Union (EL og IT Forbundet), said.

Industri-Energi stated that they are taking 3,000 of their members out on strike in the first instance. Among others, the oil service industry is hit hard.

"About 1,000 of our employees are now being taken out on strike. About a third of our employees are in Norway," communications advisor Christian Foder in the oil services company Aibel told the newspaper E24.

All their ongoing projects are affected by the strike. Aker Solutions states that 2,703 of their employees will go on strike from Monday.

The companies Hydro Aluminum in Karmøy, Norsk Hydro in Sunndalsøra and Rosenberg Worley in Stavanger are also affected.

Furthermore, the YS organisation has also taken industrial employees in the offshore sector out on strike.

"The first strike will lead to the offshore companies Beerenberg and Bilfinger with approximately 500 members being taken out on strike. They mainly work with insulation, scaffolding and surface treatment. This has no immediate safety consequences. However, it has major economic effects," YS noted.


Longer waiting time for new cars?

Over 600 employees in the car sales industry will go on strike from Monday, and another 100 will be taken out on Friday, according to the site

From Monday, Sulland, Bertel O. Steen, Bilia, Gumpen and Harald A. Møller will be affected.

"Customers who are waiting for new cars from Harald A. Møller may have to wait longer for the cars to be delivered," Øyvind Rognlien Skovli, director of communications and public relations at Harald A. Møller, Norway's largest car importer, told NRK.

Hotel workers also on strike

70 employees at the Grand Hotel in Oslo are also part of the strike. An additional 105 employees at the Radisson Blu in the capital are also on strike. 

Snacks and chocolate production hit by strike

Several food producers are also affected by the general strike. According to the newspaper Adresseavisen, Nidar is stopping all production of chocolate and sweets from Monday, as some 225 of the 250 employees at their factory in Trondheim are joining the strike.

This means that sweets such as Stratos, Smash, Laban, and Bamsemums may soon become unavailable in Norwegian shops.

Kims announced a complete halt in snack production at the factory in Skreia, according to Oppland Arbeiderblad.

Maarud, one of the largest confectionary manufacturers in Norway also announced that it is closing down its factory. The company is best known for their potato chips. 

IKEA and ferry routes affected

Two of IKEA's warehouses are also affected by the strike. This applies to the warehouses at Furuset and Slependen in Oslo.

"Ikea Furuset and the Oslo ordering point will have to close completely, while Ikea Slependen and the customer centre will remain open, but with a reduced offer to our customers," the company stated.

The strike will also affect online shopping and customer service, so IKEA customers can expect longer response and delivery times, the company announced on its website.

Furthermore, departures on several ferry connections across the country are cancelled as a result of the strike.

"It affects ferries and fast boats in Oslo, Tromsø, in western Norway and Rogaland. There will be fewer departures and a lower frequency of departures," communications manager Cathrine Gjertsen at the ferry company Norled told the Norwegian media.

Several other ferry companies are also affected, including Fjord 1 and Torghatten. Travellers are asked to check the ferry companies' websites for more information.


Other affected industries

YS also put 66 employees at the car dealership Harald Møller AS in Oslo on strike, as well as 215 employees at Schibsted.

Posten and Bring are also affected - around 40 people will join the general strike at Bring Cargo International, in Oslo, Haugesund, Drammen and Bergen.

Posten is hiring 1,000 extra co-workers to handle large quantities of parcels, press manager Kenneth Tjønndal Pettersen at Posten/Bring announced.

"As an organisation, we are affected to a limited extent by the strike, but the consequences of the ferry connection not running mean that customers are affected," Pettersen explained.

Further escalation possible

From Friday, the strike may be stepped up, and a further 466 YS members and 16,561 LO members could join it.

In that case, Rema distribution, Postnord, Felleskjøpet, Kongsberg Maritime, the elevator company Schindler, Schenker, and SINTEF could be affected, among others.


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