NLF victory
NLF activists at Oslo station during strike

Victorious Norwegian train drivers thank international support

Victorious Norwegian train drivers returned to work on 31 October after a four-week strike when the government agreed to joint union and employer demands for a national standard for all train drivers.

The government has agreed:

• To develop a national standard with the involvement of the unions and the trade organization, and the work must start before 1 March 2017. The standard defines how the training is to be done and the competence level to be reached, and will apply also to the existing railway training centre.

• That a trade organisation for railway companies to be immediately set up by law, with mandatory membership for all companies with safety certificates on the Norwegian network.

• That the Norwegian locomotive drivers’ regulations will be made more specific.   

The employers – Norwegian State Railways (NSB) and CargoNet – have also committed not to change the existing training programmes before the new standard is developed. During mediation the NSB had strongly rejected the union’s proposal along these lines.

Oystein Aslaksen, international secretary of the National Union of Norwegian Locomotivemen (NLF), said: “We are so grateful for all the international support we received from the ITF and its unions. This support was of very great value in order to put pressure on the employers – and it worked! Thank you!”  

ITF inland transport secretary Mac Urata congratulated the union and the drivers on their determination to win, and thanked all the ITF unions who responded to the federation’s earlier call for solidarity with the NLF.  

The NLF says that Norwegian State Railways has been stripped of almost all its assets, including rolling stock, workshops, real estate and ticket sales, in preparation of competitive tendering. This means tenders will compete over staff working conditions, pension rights and training.

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