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PSI' Norwegian affiliate press charges against private health company

The municipal employees’ union, Fagforbundet, has reported the Aleris Ungplan and Boi private care company to the authorities for possible breaches of labour, health and safety, tax and even criminal law. The union has taken up cases for several workers who have been denied their rights on pay, sick pay and pensions and forced to work excessive hours. The cases mainly involve workers who were taken on as "consultants" rather than employees so that the company could avoid paying pension, sickness and other costs. The company is a subsidiary of a major private sector health and social care provider, Aleris, and Fagforbundet says this is one of the worst cases of social dumping in the welfare sector it has seen and also wants action by regional government which is responsible for health and social care provision.

Source: PSI

Privatization or Not?

The worst political crisis in years, which threatened to bring down the government, seems to have been averted by the resignation of the Justice Minister, Sylvi Listhaug, who provoked indignation by a Facebook post in which she accused the opposition of being soft on terrorism suspects. A no-confidence vote was precipitated by the uproar, which the government was poised to lose. The crisis drew attention to outstanding differences between the two leading parties, including on privatization. “Privatization or Not? The Conservatives are open to reducing the state's stakes in several companies, notably in telecoms firm Telenor, where it has permission from parliament to cut its holding to 34 percent from 54 percent. Labour said ahead of last year's election it would ask parliament to reverse the Telenor sales permit.”

Source: U.S.

Positive tendencies regarding privatization policies in Norway

Norwegian trade unions, currently in the middle of national collective agreement negotiations, are waging a successful battle against the privatization of public services. “Interestingly, we have seen some positive tendencies regarding privatization policies in Norway over the last couple of years, particularly at municipal level. At the local elections in September last year, centre-left majorities took over many of the biggest cities, and some of these new majorities have started to re-municipalize some of the services which had previously been privatized or tendered out to private companies. This is the case for some of the nursing homes for elderly, for cleaning of public buildings and for the use of temporary workers’ agencies. A coalition of trade unions and other organizations in our Campaign for the Welfare State has been instrumental in developing this policy, in a national campaign against ‘welfare profiteers,’ as we call them.”

Source: peopleoverprof.it

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Norwegian municipalities bringing social services back into public hands (by Bjørn Pettersen and Nina Monsen)

This article discusses the processes of remunicipalisation in Norway. In recent years, 21 services have been de-privatised and brought back into public hands in municipalities across the country. This wave of de-privatisations comes after a change in political leadership in many municipalities after the local elections of 2015. Cooperation between the trade unions, the municipal administrations and the local politicians has been fundamental in these remunicipalisation processes.