Norwegian trade unions sue Hurtigruten over pension payments

Two Norwegian trade unions are suing cruise operator Hurtigruten over historic pension payments.

As reported by E24, the Norwegian Engineers Association and the Norwegian Naval Officers Association have hired lawyer, Anders Hansson, at Sørlandsadvokatene to represent 87 seafarers, who are demanding around NOK 5m in pension payments from Hurtigruten.

The pension payments requested relate to the period between 2006-2009 when the seafarers were employed by Hurtigruten working on its speedboats.

The dispute has been ongoing for several years; in 2012, the association NHO Sjøfart entered into an agreement with the unions that organise seafarers’ pensions. As part of this, seafarers were to be paid a supplement to their pensions for the period 2006 - 2012. The agreement was updated in 2014.

Hurtigruten, however, sold its speedboats in 2009 and 2010 to Torghatten Nord, and the 87 seafarers were transferred to this company. As a result, Hurtigruten believes it is not responsible for the pension payments, and it instead lies with Torghatten.

A lengthy court battle with Torghatten Nord has not been successful for the seafarers, however, which is why they are now taking action against Hurtigruten.

The case will be heard in court in the Autumn.

Hurtigruten said it would be "inappropriate" to comment at this time due to the ongoing legal case.

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