Monday, May 21, 2007

Norwegians think they should earn more than foreigners working in the country, according to a new survey

Aftenposten:

The survey, conducted by research firm InFact for personnel bureau Proffice, reveals that a majority of Norwegians think it's fine if a Norwegian earns NOK 150 per hour while a foreign guest workers earns NOK 100 for doing the same job.

"This is quite surprising," said Per Bergerud, managing director of Proffice. "It's completely unacceptable, for example, if a worker from Poland earns less than a Norwegian just because he's Polish."

Only three out of 10 respondents to the survey, however, agreed with Bergerud. Fully 10 percent of executives responding also claimed that just NOK 60 (about USD 10) an hour was an acceptable rate of pay for a guest workers in Norway.

The survey indicates no small dose of hypocrisy on the part of the Norwegian respondents, especially all those who are members of labour unions that constantly fight against so-called "social dumping." Norway's strong labour movement has consistently tried to fend off cheaper labour from abroad by insisting that everyone be paid equally.

Only 30 percent of those responding to the survey agreed, however, that social dumping was problematic.

Some of the respondents claimed Norwegians do a better job than foreigners. About 45 percent believed there was no difference.

There are about 80,000 guest workers in Norway, according to state labour authorities. Bergerud estimated that around half are paid less than Norwegians doing the same job.

Job rejections take their toll

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