Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pia Beathe Pedersen becomes a Norwegian trade union rallying cry

I ran another Norwegian article through Google Translate. This article, Oppsigelse i NRK på direkten, was rendered by Google Translate as "Termination in NRK on the fly." Here's one passage that caught my eye:

Nylig sa programlederen Pia Beathe Pedersen opp sin stilling i NRK i direktesending, og gjennom å publisere avgangen på NRK – i protest mot ”vikarbruken” i NRK. Pedersen oppgir at av NRKs 3 700 ansatte – er 1 200 midlertidig ansatte, og hvor vikarene utnyttes på det groveste. Ledelsen beskyldes for å bruke rigide og antikvariske ledelsesmetoder.

This basically repeats some stuff that I didn't mention in my initial post, which included translated passages from Pedersen's letter. Basically, it repeats Pedersen's statement about the large number of temporary employees at the NRK network, and that they are not treated all that well.

Toward the end of the new article, there's another impassioned paragraph:

Jeg opplever at Pia Beathe Pedersens oppsigelse er et fortvilet rop i et nyliberalistisk system. Men det gjelder nå som før – vi trenger et sterkt LO både nasjonalt og internasjonalt (ILO) – for å bremse på nyliberalistenes framferd! Sammen er vi sterke! Vi må jobbe systematisk og holde fanen høyt oppe for at arbeidstakere skal kunne ha anstendige lønns- og arbeidsvilkår både nasjonalt og internasjonalt! Pia Beathe Pedersens reaksjon og oppsigelse blir fort glemt – det blir ikke fagbevegelsens systematiske arbeid for tryggere jobber og et bedre arbeidsmiljø!

Here's how Google Translate rendered this paragraph:

I find that Beathe Pia Pedersen dismissal is a desperate cry of a neoliberal system. But there are now as before - we need a strong LO both national and international (ILO) - to curb the nyliberalistenes conduct! Together we are strong! We must work systematically and keep tab high for workers to have decent wages and working conditions, both nationally and internationally! Pia Pedersen Beathe reaction and termination is quickly forgotten - there is no trade union systematic work for safer jobs and a better working environment!

Somehow I have the feeling that I haven't stumbled upon the Norwegian version of Rush Limbaugh.

The article appeared at Veggavisen ("Wallpaper") and was written by Jørund H, a district secretary for a local trade union organization. (And you thought that Lillehammer was just inhabited by winter sports enthusiasts.)

And, in case you're wondering, NRK is unionized. In fact, a strike was narrowly averted in May. However, I would assume that temporary workers are NOT part of the union.

Ironically, the existence of the union probably gives NRK financial incentives to hire so many temporary workers in the first place.

But even if the unions can't look out for temporary workers, there's always the European Union.

This Directive sets out a general framework applicable to the working conditions of temporary workers within the European Union. The aim of the Directive is to ensure that temporary workers have a minimum level of protection and to help develop the temporary work sector as a flexible option for employers and workers alike. The Directive establishes the principle of non-discrimination, with regard to essential working and employment conditions between a temporary worker and a worker recruited directly by the user undertaking to which the temporary worker is posted.

Somehow I suspect that Jørund H is not impressed.
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