Victory for Norwegian Locomotive drivers!
Our colleagues in Norway have had a big victory after prolonged strike action. As of Monday morning they are back at work. The employer agreed to send a common letter to the Norwegian Transport Minister with the union, demanding a national standard for all locomotive drivers training, regardless of the company. The reply from the Transport Minister, received on 30th October, solved the strike. The reply was in three points:
- A national standard for the locomotive drivers training will be established by the Department of Transport. The unions and the trade organization will be involved in developing and later revising such a standard. This standard defines how the training is to be done and the competence level to be reached, also by the existing Norwegian Railway training center.
- A trade organization for railway companies shall immediately be established by law with mandatory membership for all companies with safety certificates on the Norwegian network.
- The Norwegian Locomotive drivers regulation, especially §§ 18 (standards for training to obtain certificate) and 20 (recognition of examiners) shall be made more specific. Annex V (specifications on training programs for the certificate- rolling stock) and VI (specifications on training programs for the certificate- infrastructure) will be considered revised.
The NLF has confirmed that the employers have committed to not changing the existing training programs before the new standard is developed, and that other parts of the revision of their agreement, such as a wage increase, were also solved satisfactorily.
The NLF Chairman and International Secretary, Rolf Ringdal and Oystein Aslaksen wrote to their international counterparts, including the RTBU, to say thank you for the international support which helped put the pressure on.
The RTBU Loco division wrote to the CEO of Norwegian State Railways to express our support for the NLF and standardised driver training in October.