Norway: Adecco in scandal over illegal labour practises
In Norway, multiple violations of working conditions, overtime payments and payments of pension contributions by Adecco have been reported to the Norwegian police and local authorities. Officials of the Labour Inspectorate confirmed that Adecco workers were paid lower wages than agreed in the general collective labour agreement and that some of these were found to have been working 86 hours a week without being paid overtime.
The illegal behaviour of Adecco has caused much public concern across the Nordic countries and leading companies operating in Norway, as well as local municipalities, have started terminating or not resigning contracts with the temporary work agency. Coop, one of the biggest supermarkets in Norway, decided to terminate its contract with Adecco last Monday. In addition, there are numerous municipalities declaring existing contracts for nursing homes and other local services would not be renewed after their expiration this spring.
Postkom, UNI's affiliate in the postal sector, met with the Norwegian Post Office and demanded that they terminate their commercial partnership with Adecco which was renewed some time ago. They argued that any future use of temporary agency workers should be negotiated with the union. Postkom secretary Håvard Sivertsen stated that the union would disagree with any future commercial partnerships with Adecco on account of the company's numerous violations of Norwegian labour laws and exploitation of workers in their care.
Adecco's CEO Patrick De Maeseneire claimed that the headquarters in Zurich were not aware of the illegal practices and unfair working conditions in Norway. He promised to investigate the matter and to pay overtime benefits to workers concerned.
UNI Global Union intends to contact Adecco about the multiple violations of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU which was signed by UNI and the Ciett Corporate members, including Adecco, states that the signatory private employment agencies are committed to the fair treatment of the temporary agency workers.