Case Study

Worse construction worker?

Bergen, the second largest city in Norway. There are noises accompanying the construction - new housing estates for a slightly more affluent part of Norwegian society. On the construction site there are several hundred employees of different nationalities. Work in progress, everyone is busy working on a wide area until the moment of break in work comes. Some of the employees go for a moment of rest, some of them continue to work - you may think that they are taking a break for a change in order not to cool down the machines. Nothing could be more wrong! The remaining employees are those who work under worse conditions and need trade union intervention - they are workers of other nationalities. While the Norwegians work according to the regulations, have time for breaks, get unlimited number of water and, of course, get a higher salary, a Pole or a Lithuanian must work more, harder and for worse remuneration.

Such information was received the other working day. Of course, the intervention took place immediately. Despite the fact that there were very large companies, employing several thousand people, the trade union Solidaritet was not afraid of confrontation. What was the effect of our intervention and our actions? 160 employees received pay adjustments for 3 years back! Foreign workers started to be treated the same way the Norwegian workers are, were given peace of mind and comfort under normal legal conditions.

Unjustified employer intervention

Mr. Dariusz was a long-time employee of one of the Norwegian oil companies in Haugesund. Once he fell ill and had to go on sick leave, having no idea of what events would happen during his sick leave and in the following weeks of work. During the illness, Mr. Darek's peace of mind was disturbed many times, as he rested in his apartment. The employee was reported by the employer and Norwegian trade unions. He was encouraged to leave work, then subjected to harassment and persecution at work. After the unsuccessful pressure exerted on his employee, the Norwegian employer finally decided to dismiss him and issue a negative opinion on the cooperation.

When Mr. Dariusz approached the Solidaritet trade union, it became apparent that the real reason for the dismissal was the oil crisis in Norway and the budget cuts in the company. After the trial, Mr. Darek was compensated for NOK 200,000 damages and a received a positive job certificate.