Norwegian union members went back to work Tuesday, ending a six-day strike that hit everything from oil exports to hotels in the nation's most serious labor dispute since the 1980s. The strike ended after employers raised a 2000 pay offer to 4.6 percent from 3.5-4, averting a threatened escalation of the stoppages to 102,000 workers from 86,000. An expansion would have made it the biggest labor conflict in 70 years.
The employers' group, the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO), warned the deal could jeopardize jobs in Norway by pushing labor costs further above those of its trading partners. Economists warned the deal could prompt copycat demands and strikes by Norway's bigger public sector unions later this month and spur central bank interest rate hikes.