Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Norway nationwide strike, NDC prelude

Norway's been on strike since May 24th, and still going on.  Personally I've not been affected, not yet anyway, but the reason is, not surprisingly, unions demanding a pay increase of 4 percent and in addition to 10 paid days of fully paid sick leave.  It's public sector workers of course, private sector ones have no time for such recreational activities.  Police, teachers, health care and customs workers are the ones comprising this group.  Currently affected areas include Asker, Askøy, Bergen, Bodø, Drammen, Kristiansand, Larvik, Lillehammer, Narvik, Oslo, Sandnes, Tromsø, Trondheim and Ålesund.  A whole bunch of areas pretty much.  And Gardemoen airport.  Anyway we'll see what eventually unfolds.  Apparently some bosses of big state companies have obtained 18 percent or higher pay raises, according to the Norwegian VG newspaper, adding more fuel to the fire.  And garbage is being piled up in some places around Oslo.  That's quite bad.

Norway is apparently the 2nd happiest country in the world according the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) report.  Yet people are going on strike?  People here don't work much to begin with.  Personally I feel it would be extremely hard for a Norwegian accustomed to the way of life here living and working anywhere else in the world.  Especially if they are a cleaner, garbage man, or a manual labourer, or someone uneducated, it would be very, very tough for them to make it in the world.  In fact dare I say smart, enterprising people want to leave Norway?  After working with some of the people on my floor, it's hard for me to think they want to achieve anything substantial in their lives.  But maybe that's just how people here are.

Tomorrow I'm attending NDC 2012, in downtown Oslo.  It's a developers' conference, with some good speakers.  I'm hoping it'll be good.  So the next 3 days will be spent in the dangerous east side of Oslo.  If I see any garbage piles I'll take some photos and put them up. :D

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