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Norway Public Service Workers On Strike Over Pay

Ivar Hjelmen (L), 4, and his mother Kari (2nd L) give coffee and bread to striking workers standing on May 24, 2012 outside Kroken kindergarden in the northern Norwegian town of Tromsoe.
Thousands of Norwegian public service workers began their first strike in nearly three decades Thursday over pay.

Media reports say up to 30,000 Norwegian workers are taking part in the strike with union leaders saying public sector pay is lagging behind what private workers make.

Norway has had recent strong economic growth, much of it due to its large oil resources.

The strike is impacting healthcare, schools, and other public institutions and services.

The unions representing the workers are seeking a raise of just over four percent and improvements in working conditions.

There is growing concern the strike may expand to include all 600,000 local and state government workers if an agreement is not reached.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.