Norway hit with largest strike in two decades as inflation soars
The unions pledge that the strikes will not include the oil and gas industry, which is the country's most lucrative sector.
Around 25,000 Norwegian workers will go on strike on Monday over the declining economic situation, which is threatening to indirectly affect the country's massive energy industry, according to a Sputnik report.
Norwegian unions vowed to spare the oil and gas production sites from the walkouts, but the stoppage of work in other industries such as road workers, logistical trucks, and others will nonetheless impact the country's most lucrative sector.
The unions asked for wage increases by at least five percent to compensate for 2023 inflation rates and decided to go on strike after talks with the relevant governmental institutions failed.
"It is a very deadlocked and serious situation," Mats Ruland, who played a mediator role between the government and the trade unions, said in a statement.
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) "demanded increased purchasing power for all our members and a boost for the low-paid," while the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), "has chosen to reject our demands and thus sent the country into strike," chairwoman Peggy Hessen Folsvik told Norwegian media.
In attempts to exert more pressure, LO has even declared readiness to increase the number of striking workers up to 40,000.
Despite it being a top oil and gas exporter to the EU, Norway's inflation is near a three-decade-high at around 6.5%.
Discovered in the 1960s, the North Sea oil and gas reserves serve as pillars of the Norwegian economy, but with peak production, disagreements have risen over the exploration in the Arctic's environment, which was backed by international alarm over the usage of fossil fuels and their devastating impact on climate change.
Norway's own energy giant Equinor launched a campaign of sustainable projects centering on alternative energy sources such as wind power which led to accusations of "greenwashing." Hundreds of companies and firms in various fields have come under fire for promoting eco-friendly projects when research reports show that such projects are "greenwashing" in disguise.