Employment and industrial relations during a lockout in the USA
Lead NCPNorway
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the trade union Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbundet) regarding the activities of Kongsberg Automotive in the USA.
Theme(s)Employment and industrial relations
Date25 Nov 2008
Host country(ies)United States
SourceTrade Union
Industry sectorManufacturing

Read the public statement issued by the Norwegian NCP concluding the specific instance | Norsk

In November 2008 the Norwegian NCP received a request for review from the Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbundet) alleging that Kongsberg Automotive had breached the employment and industrial relations provisions of the Guidelines because the company’s subsidiary in Ohio, USA, Kongsberg Driveline System, had hired alternative labour during a lockout. Fellesforbundet was of the view that the parent company Kongsberg Automotive had breached the Guidelines by accepting such a course of action.

The Norwegian NCP underlined that the use of hired labour during a labour dispute is not in keeping with Norwegian practices and tradition. In the NCP’s view, it has become part of Norwegian parent companies’ corporate social responsibility to encourage their foreign subsidiaries to observe Norwegian labour traditions insofar as is practicable. The NCP therefore recommended that Kongsberg Automotive takes such considerations into account should a similar situation arise in the future.

The majority of the NCP was nevertheless of the view that Kongsberg Automotive’s conduct in connection with the dispute cannot be said to constitute a breach of the Guidelines. The ILO conventions on which the provisions of the Guidelines are based were also taken into account in the assessment. The minority of the NCP, which consists of the representative from the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), was of the view that the hiring of alternative labour during the lockout constituted a breach of the OECD Guidelines in that it is a breach of non-statutory law and Norwegian tradition and culture in this area. The minority has also taken the ILO conventions into account in its assessment.