Norway aquaculture pay talks break down

Cermaq workers

Talks between Norway’s salmon companies and unions representing industry workers have hit the buffers.

Negotiations to secure a new aquaculture deal covering pay and conditions and general issues began on Wednesday but appear to have broken down after just two days. They have now gone to mediation.

However, the unions are thought to be still some way from industrial action. The employer organisation Seafood Norway said in a statement : “On Friday afternoon, it was clear that the parties were so far apart that there was a breach.”

The negotiations will now go to mediation.

There has been disagreement on several central points and issues of principle. To a large extent, these are linked to the degree of local negotiations and local flexibility.

“There is disagreement about financial issues and several key demands have not yet been met. Sjømat Norge (Seafood Norway) hopes that a solution can be reached when the negotiations go to mediation,” the statement added.

The aquaculture agreement is between the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and Sjømat Norge, representing the employer side.

The deal will include, for example, those involved in the farming of fish/shellfish and staff working at refrigeration plants and marine and land facilities. The agreement applies to more than 3,000 of the Federation’s members.

The union side is demanding an increase in pay, saying that its members deserve a solid increase at a time when the cost of living in Norway has risen sharply. It is also calling for other improvements.

The employer side will no doubt argue that its own costs have risen sharply, and that the industry is facing a much higher tax burden.


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