September 29, 2022

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Possibility of ‘slow move’ could solve industrial strike – E24

It has struck parts of the processing industry. One of the requirements is the possibility of local action, in which workers, for example, reduce the pace of their work.

Club president Christopher Hegelmann launched the Bertel O. Steen Bergen is a local initiative to “move slowly” on behalf of workshop workers.
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Negotiations between Industri Energi and Norsk Industri were broken by the employer regarding the electrochemical agreement on May 4. On Monday night, the two parties went to mediation, but that came to nothing.

The conflict revolves, among other things, over the means of pressure in local negotiations, which employees do not have today. Such local actions could be, for example, a “slowly going” procedure, as workshop workers did at Bertel O. Steen Bergen now.

“I wish everyone in the negotiations had a tool that could balance the balance of power,” says club director Christopher Hegelmann at Bertel O. Stein in Bergen.

At the end of July, local wage negotiations broke down, when the workshop workers did not agree with the employer on wage terms. Now employees have reduced their pace of work by 45 percent. Their salaries will be reduced accordingly.

“Obviously, we must have the tools to ensure that, on the part of the employees, we also get our right share of the results generated by our own hands,” says Hegelmann.

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– cost mode

According to the club captain from Bergen, striking industrial workers can expect a form of work that will affect both employer and employee if they are to gain momentum in negotiations with Industri Energi.

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– Creates a cost situation. It’s not a hit, but it has more or less the same effect. Hegelmann says the company doesn’t get full turnover, and we don’t get full wages.

– What would have happened to you without this tool?

– If we do not have the opportunity to put pressure on the company, we are a little weaker, says the club captain.

Kristin Niergaard, researcher at FAFO.

Real threat

There is still a long way to go for the Norwegian Industry to accept the right to operate in local negotiations as part of the agreement in the ongoing industrial strike, says Kristin Niergaard, a researcher at FAVO.

It is seen as a real threat and a means of power by the employee over the employer, she says.

As of Monday, another 655 people at Hydro Aluminum Sunndal and 444 members of Alcoa Mosjøen have gone on strike. In total, there are more than 2,500 strikers in a number of industrial enterprises.

After the parties to the master settlement agree on a collective agreement, local negotiations with the company gradually begin. For large parts of the so-called ‘front line profession’, it is possible for the employee side to implement a ‘start slowly’ procedure.

– In the absence of an agreement in the local negotiations, the union can terminate the agreement on the wage system. And then you have one month to approve. And if there is no agreement, the union can resort to the so-called lowering of the tempo. Then workers get 45 percent less tempo and get 45 percent of the pay, she says.

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In other parts of working life, domestic negotiations are conducted without such a right to work. This means that local parties must agree. Business owners often have the final say in such negotiations if no agreement is reached.

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positive form of work

Says club captain at Bertel O. Steen prefers to see that it is not necessary to use such means of force.

However, he appreciates that they have such a tool in negotiations.

– Do you wish the processing industry had the same tool?

– Certainly, I wish everyone who conducts negotiations to have a tool that can balance the balance of power, he says.