What were the beginnings of social dialogue in Norway?
The history of social dialogue in Norway dates back to the 19th century and began with consultations on labor issues. Trade unions began to form in Norway at the end of the 19th century: the oldest trade union – craftsmen – in 1870, the union of unskilled workers – in 1898. The first LO union confederation (Landsorganisasjonen and Norge) was established on April 1, 1899. However, it was not a safe time for the members employees. In many European countries, such as France, Germany and Great Britain, the existence of trade unions was prohibited. Norway has never had such a law, but joining a trade union was often a reason for dismissal. A year after the establishment of the Secondary School, in 1900, the first employers’ confederation – NHO was established. The establishment of this organization was to some extent legitimizing the existence of trade unions. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, social dialogue contributed to shaping labor relations. Collective bargaining has always been ahead of state law standards. The experiences of the Second World War created a strong sense of solidarity, and trade unions, together with employers’ organizations and the Labor Party, engaged in the reconstruction of the country. They were all focused on productivity and profit, but also on mutual benefits. Employees contributing to economic growth were also to benefit from this growth, receiving raises and getting better rights and working conditions. With the development of industrial democracy in the 1960s and 1970s, works councils began to form, as well as their representation on management boards and security teams.