Norwegian conflict can affect Danish sailors
A Norwegian legislative change could make it possible to register ferries in the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS) and it may later threaten Danish jobs, predicts Søfartens Ledere.
The shipping company Color Line has pushed the Norwegian government for a change that allows to register ferries on routes such as Kiel in NIS and thus open for employment of foreign workers at lower wages. This has led to demonstrations in Norway. And in Denmark, Søfartens Ledere predicts that it can later lead the loss of Danish jobs.
"Shipping companies such as DFDS and Fjord Line will be able to choose to joing the NIS, in order to get the same access to cheap foreign labor as Color Line," Søfartens Ledere wrote.
They refer to the routes from Copenhagen to Oslo and Bergen/Stavanger to Hirtshals fall within the new Norwegian NIS rules, which state that the distance from the last port to Norway only needs to be more than 175 nautical miles.
Such a decision would threaten the many Danish jobs in ferries between Denmark and Norway, Søfartens Ledere wrote.
The current language requirements, however, limits the possibilities to replace the Danish seamen in ferries for Danish ports, a technical regulation requires that safety information to passengers to be given in Danish and English and crew members need to be able to guide and assist in Danish - or in Swedish and Norway - on ships sailing between the Scandinavian ports.
"As we understand it, it will primarily be able to affect the jobs that are outside the operating and safety crew in the passenger ships, so our primary member groups do not seem to be at risk," says Fritz Ganzhorn, Director of Søfartens Ledere.
The affected unions in Norway fear that simplified access to NIS can lead to loss of 700 Norwegian jobs.
Source: Søfartens Ledere / Maritime Denmark