Foreigners discriminated against in Norway fishing sector / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Foreigners discriminated against in Norway fishing sector. A staffing company actively pays foreigners less than their Norwegian counterparts, an NRK report reveals. An audio recording of a few Romanian workers working for a fishing industry company via staffing firm JM Skaret was recently made in Nordland County’s Vesterålen. It brings to light that they are receiving lower wages than promised and putting in more working hours than legally allowed.

discrimination, norway, work



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Foreigners discriminated against in Norway fishing sector

Published on Wednesday, 2nd April, 2014 at 14:49 under the news category, by Manisha Choudhari and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 3rd April 2014 at 07:23.

A staffing company actively pays foreigners less than their Norwegian counterparts, an NRK report reveals.



An audio recording of a few Romanian workers working for a fishing industry company via staffing firm JM Skaret was recently made in Nordland County’s Vesterålen.

It brings to light that they are receiving lower wages than promised and putting in more working hours than legally allowed.

There are allegations the staffing company pays the workers only 135 kroner per hour. Some worked up to 18 hours in a day.

The foreigner workers’ pay slips show fewer hours for the correct pay amount in January, rather than what they actually worked - more for less.

Legislation stipulates wages of 152 kroner per hour and work time of 12 to 13 hours a day. Any more would be breaking current employment law.

NRK also writes company JM Skaret avoided problems with authorities by telling the foreign workers to say they never worked more than 12 hours per day.

Polish national Mateuz Jan Grobelny tells the broadcaster foreign workers ending up in this situation when coming to Norway for seasonal work end is a known issue.

“Many don’t care about the people who come here. They’re thousands of kilometers from home and are only going to work for three of four months,” he says.

“People still try to con them anyway. We’re just a number to them,” comments Mr Grobelny, adding he believes employers also try to be dishonest at their employees’ expense. “It’s just about money.”

Both JM Skaret staffing agency’s Jørn Skaret and general manager Astrid Klo refused to be interviewed by NRK when contacted.

The Romanian workers had complained to unions about their wage, and were subsequently paid the difference for the January month.

Mr Skaret sent the broadcaster an email apologizing to both the employees and actual fishing industry company. In it, he wrote that the offer of lower wages was based on a misunderstanding.

Astrid Klo, general manager of JM Skaret staffing agency also wrote there was a clerical error in the accounting sheet, refuting they had tried to conceal information from the Labor Inspectorate, reports NRK.

Kristin Alsos, researcher and lawyer at independent research organisation FAFO states the extent of working legislation breaches in the fishing industry are undocumented.

At the same time, she believes incidents that occur are due to ethnic discrimination “in some way”.

Talking of the JM Skaret case, MS Alsos says that “there’ll be a systematic discrimination based on where you come from if you pay Norwegians one sum and Romanians another.”

FAFO has also recently published a report called ‘Nordic labor market institutions and new migrant workers: Polish migrants in Oslo, Copenhagen and Reykjavik’.

It examines the Nordic social model’s ability to uphold labor standards among low-wage competition.

According to the report, large-scale migration of workers from new EU member states to the Nordic countries, mostly to fill relatively low-skilled jobs in construction, manufacturing and services has raised concerns as to these issues.




Published on Wednesday, 2nd April, 2014 at 14:49 under the news category, by Manisha Choudhari and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 3rd April 2014 at 07:23.

This post has the following tags: discrimination, norway, work.





  
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