Henrik Aasarød

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Person.png Henrik Aasarød  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(union leader)
Born28 July 1928
Trondheim, Norway
Died8 April 2000 (Age 71)

Henrik Aasarød was President of The Norwegian Seafarers' Union from 1972 to 1988. During his period, the Union lost the fight against the Norwegian Shipowners' Association to employ foreign seamen at third world wages.


He started as a union trustee on ships, and in 1951 became a trustee at the federal offices in Oslo, Rotterdam and Copenhagen, before joining the union's headquarters in Oslo in September 1964 as information secretary. At the 1970 national assembly, he was elected to take over as a federal chairman when Olaf Karling was to retire in 1972.

In July 1988, the Seafarers' Union granted an application from Aasarød to retire at the age of 60 with reasons in Aasarød's health.

Henrik Aasarød maintained the Norwegian Maritime Confederation's tradition as the most international of all trade unions, including through the work of the Nordic Transport Workers Federation and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), where he also had central office. He was chairman of the Nordic Transport Workers' Federation 1981-1988, member of the ITF Executive Committee and member of the Labor Party's central committee.

Politically, Henrik Aasarød is remembered for having led the Norwegian Seamen Association in the struggle against the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and the creation of the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS), which led to the employment of third world laborers at third world wages on Norwegian ships.

The struggle made the union less powerful in the the Labor Party, that had started a neoliberal tilt under PM Gro Harlem Brundtland.

The lost struggle was probably a contributing factor to Aaserød's failing health and resignation.

Bilderberg 1984

The Bilderberg meetings are closely associated with the Norwegian Shipowners' Association. Aaserød attended in 1984, during the heavy lobbying for the Norwegian International Ship Register, and the meeting invitation might have been an attempt to get him to change side.


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/198411 May 198413 May 1984Sweden
The 32nd Bilderberg, held in Sweden
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