If Port of Oslo is classified as a garbage port in September, the city can lose at least NOK 200 million
Oslo may become a so-called Port of Convenience(POC) on September 1, and lose 200 million in revenue from cruise traffic alone.
The Norwegian Transport Workers' Union (NTF) and the harbor workers in Oslo threaten to make Port of Oslo to a POC from 1 September.
For almost two and a half years, the harbor workers in Oslo have been out of work. The conflict began in 2015 when a Turkish port operator was awarded the contract to operate the container port on Sjursøya. They mostly use temporary worker agencies and refuse to use the regular port workers.
Half a year later, Oslo's unloading and unloading office was bankrupt. Then the port workers lost about 90 percent of the remaining missions. Only three companies in the harbor continue to use the harbor workers.
However, following the decision in the port council in June that port workers should be given priority when loading and unloading in port, the port workers hoped that the conflict could be resolved.
In the last week, however, four ships have been loaded and unloaded in port without the port workers being used. Now it's the end of patience.
"Oslo harbor has had plenty of time to ensure that the port operators comply with the decision in the port authority. If we do not see a sharp change during August, we will ensure that Oslo is registered as a POC from September 1, says Oslo Bryggearbeideres Forening (OBF), Tommy Torgersen,to Vårt Oslo.
Same status as Barrow Island?
Port of convenience, is a status the International Transport Worker Association issues to ports, where no organized port workers take care of loading and unloading of the ships that are arriving.
Not long ago, Mogadishu port, in war-ridden Somalia, was the only one in the list of convenience ports worldwide. But they have actually managed to remove the term.
Barrow Island, an island outside Australia, is the only one today. This makes Oslo port number two.
"Going great, but not in Oslo?"
There is a clearly stated gang dockworkers VårtOslo meets Wednesday afternoon. The little glow of hope that came with the decision in the harbor government seems to have been washed away already.
"It's going just great at all ports, even in Drammen. But not in Oslo, Mosjøen and Tromsø., Says deputy chairman of OBF, Roar Langaard.
Both he and Torgersen are tired on the delaying tactics they believe the administration in Oslo port is doing in the case.
"It should not be difficult to get the port operators to comply with a decision of the port authority. This is probably the case with the will of Oslo Harbor, says Torgersen.
No empty threats
The dockers threats of making Oslo a so-called POC are not an empty threat. With full support from NTF, the decision will be released quickly.
"We have received a full explanation from the International Transport Workers Association that this is a decision we will launch as soon as we wish. This will have a major impact on shipping traffic to and from Oslo port, "says NTF leader Lars M. Johnsen.
Johnsen believes September 1 will be an optimal date to declare Oslo as a port of convenience.
"Every year in September, the major cruise lines meet in Miami to discuss next year's sailing program. A warning that Oslo has problems in the port could cause the big shipping companies to avoid visits to the capital, he says.
Can lose around 200 million just on cruise traffic.
There is no publicly available overview of what the cruise traffic gives the capital of income. A similar overview for Bergen shows that Westland City draws around 570 million on this traffic annually.
An estimate made by OBF and NTF shows that Oslo could miss around 200 million annually in revenues if the major cruise lines were to be lost.
"Cruise companies are very concerned that the ports they add you must be safe. This we saw most recently in the Islamic state case in Fredrikstad, and that Oslo could become a convenience port will provide a similar signal, says Johnsen.
A cruise company dropped its plans to visit Fredrikstad in 2018 because of a New York Times article from 2015 on foreign warriors from the city that traveled to Syria.
Thursday VårtOslo did not succeed to get comment on the case from Roger Schjerva(port council), or the management at Oslo port.