The Norwegian Fishermen's Association has agreed to a new organisational structure change. Photo: Fiskerlaget

The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association has agreed to a new organisational structure change. Photo: Fiskerlaget

The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association has agreed to a new organisational structure which will see its regional members reduced from eight to two.

“Friday 28 October 2022 is an important day in the history of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association,” claims its leader Kåre Heggebø after all eight annual meetings of the member teams have decided to go for a simplification of the organisational structure.

“Extensive work has been done to get the new model in place. I think we will now have a future-oriented structure that will give fishermen a better offer and strengthen the Fishermen’s Association as a whole,” says Kåre Heggebø.

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The last two annual meetings in a row were held on Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, the annual meeting of the Fiskarlaget West made a unanimous decision, which was followed up on Friday by a unanimous Southern Norway Notfiskarlag.

The leader of the Fishermen’s Association praises the work that has been done at all stages of the process and says that a great deal of important work has been done in the two negotiating committees.

“The committees have been made up of shop stewards who have put in extensive work. We have also received invaluable assistance from a total of three external negotiators who have brought their experience and wisdom to the table, for which we are very grateful,” says Kåre Heggebø.

“Johán H. Williams (north) and Knut Torgnes (south) were positive in assisting the Fiskarlaget’s shop stewards in their work and the two saw the process through to the finish line. In the initial phase, it was Vidar Ulriksen who led the work in the south. He famously became state secretary when the Støre government was put together.”

The local level is important

Kåre Heggebø points out that in the annual meetings there have been questions about the development of the organisation at local team level. He says:

“It is always demanding to go through change processes, and there are several people who have been concerned about the role and future of the local teams. I both hope and believe that we will be successful with the change, and that our members will experience that the overall offer will improve with the changes we are now making.”

Necessary measures

Kåre Heggebø describes the measures that have now been adopted as very important.

“Yes, I do not hesitate to define this as a milestone in our history. We have, like many other parts of organisational life in society, in practice had an ongoing organisational process since we were founded. The fishing team has regularly adjusted our structure. The new measures free up resources as we go from having eight boards down to two in our regional organisation. Coordination of case follow-up will free up resources to work even more directly for our members’ interests,” points out Heggebø.

This has happened

The annual meetings of a total of eight organisational units have this autumn decided that the organisational structure will be reduced in number and thus also made more efficient. The most recent were the two meetings in Bergen this week, where Fiskarlaget West and Sør-Norges Notfiskarlag have joined the majority decisions in the other six member teams to go for a new organisational model.

The member teams of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association have decided to establish a Northern Fishermen’s Association and a Southern Norwegian Fishermen’s Association. Together with Fiskebåt, the three future member associations will form the member organisations of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association.

It is planned that all employees in the current team will continue to join the new regional teams, and the office structure will be maintained.

The two new regional divisions are composed as follows:

– Nord Fiskarlag consists of the teams from Trøndelag and northward: Fiskarlaget Midt-Norge, Nordland Fylkes Fiskarlag and Fiskarlaget Nord.

– Southern Norway’s Fishermen’s Association will consist of members who until today belong to: Møre og Romsdal Fishermen’s Association, Sogn og Fjordane Fishermen’s Association, Fishermen’s Association West, Fishermen’s Association South and Southern Norway’s Notfiskarlag.

The road ahead

Secretary-General Sverre Johansen has this autumn participated in all eight annual meetings. He says it has been exciting and interesting to follow the process and participate with introductions to all the member teams.

“We have had a good and open process in the teams and annual meetings, and there have been many good debates. At the same time, we are only just getting started. On the way forward, there will be a lot of work, and I look forward to continuing the work to further develop the Fishermen’s Team. The aim of the process is, among other things, that our members will get a better service and quality in the services we provide in the organisation,” says Sverre Johansen.

After the annual meetings have now adopted the new model, foundation meetings will be held for both of the new merged entities.

The two meetings have both been added to week 50, mid-December.

Envoys to the meetings are designated in the process. At the foundation meetings, the board of directors must be elected and, among other things, decisions on articles of association will be made.

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Norwegian Fishermen’s Association agrees to organisational structure change

by editor time to read: 7 min