Elias Volan
Elias Karelius Johansen Volan (10 March 1887 – 26 December 1974) was a Norwegian
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 trade unionist.

He was born in Inderøy
Inderøy is a municipality in Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway. It is part of the Innherad region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Straumen. Other villages include Gangstadhaugen, Hylla, Kjerknesvågen, Røra, Sakshaug, Sandvollan, Småland, Utøy, and Vangshylla.The...

 as a son of crofter
Croft (land)
A croft is a fenced or enclosed area of land, usually small and arable with a crofter's dwelling thereon. A crofter is one who has tenure and use of the land, typically as a tenant farmer.- Etymology :...

 Johan Berent Johannessen Volvollan and Lise Eliasdatter Kjærbo. He attended Sund Folk High School from 1903 to 1904, but spent the rest of his youth as a worker. In 1908 he became chairman of his local trade union. He became a Norwegian Union of General Workers
Norwegian Union of General Workers
-External links:* official site....

 unionist in Trondheim, and became a national board member in 1913. He was also a member of Fagopposisjonen av 1911, and through his fellow adherents (spearheaded by Martin Tranmæl
Martin Tranmæl
Martin Olsen Tranmæl was a radical Norwegian socialist leader.-Biography:Martin Tranmæl grew up in a middle-sized farm in Melhus, in Sør-Trøndelag county, Norway. He started working as a painter and construction worker. In the early 20th century, Tranmæl lived for a while in the USA where he came...

) he was elected chairman of the Norwegian Union of General Workers in 1918 and deputy chairman of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions is a national trade union center, decidedly the largest and probably the most influential umbrella organization of labour unions in Norway. The 21 national unions affiliated to the LO have more than 850,000 members of a Norwegian population of 4.8 million...

 in 1920. In 1923 he went on to become chairman of the newly created Norwegian Union of Building Workers
Norwegian Union of Building Industry Workers
The Norwegian Union of Building Industry Workers was a trade union in Norway, organized under the national Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions....


He was active in the Norwegian Labour Party
Norwegian Labour Party
The Labour Party is a social-democratic political party in Norway. It is the senior partner in the current Norwegian government as part of the Red-Green Coalition, and its leader, Jens Stoltenberg, is the current Prime Minister of Norway....

, but at the party split in 1923 he joined the Communist Party of Norway
Communist Party of Norway
The Communist Party of Norway is a political party in Norway without parliamentary representation. It was formed in 1923, following a split in the Norwegian Labour Party. The party played an important role in the resistance to German occupation during the Second World War, and experienced a brief...

. He was a central board member from 1923 to 1929 and politburo member from 1925 to 1929. Because of this he was removed as Union of Building Workers leader in 1927, and instead became head of trade matters in the Communist Party. In 1929 he was also removed as member of the Confederation of Trade Unions secretariat together with Hans Aas
Hans Aas
Hans Aas was a Norwegian trade unionist.He was born in Tromsø. He joined his first trade union in 1906, and chaired the union Norsk bokbinder- og kartonnasjearbeiderforbund from 1914 to 1930. Having broken away from the Labour Party and joined the Communist Party in 1923, he later worked as a...

. He chaired the party Arbeiderklassens Samlingsparti
Arbeiderklassens Samlingsparti
Arbeiderklassens Samlingsparti was a short-lived political party in Norway.-Establishment:It was a part of the tendency of unification among the workers' parties in Norway. From the Norwegian Labour Party, two splits had occurred: the Social Democratic Labour Party in 1921 and the Communist Party...

 in 1927, but it was very short-lived. He left the Communist Party in 1929, and rejoined the Labour Party. He was secretary of the Confederation of Trade Unions from 1931 to 1934, when he was again removed. He instead became Confederation of Trade Unions secretary for Northern Norway in 1935, where he mainly travelled around and founded trade unions. In 1938 he returned as national secretary. He was married to Olufine Mathilde Vinje (1885–1953) from June 1909 to 1938, and then to Astrid Evensen (1890–1958) from July 1938.

After the German invasion of Norway
Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign...

 in 1940, the leadership of the Confederation of Trade Unions fled together with the royal family
Norwegian Royal Family
The Royal Family of Norway is the family of King Harald V of Norway. In Norway there is a distinction between the Royal House and the Royal Family. The Royal House includes only the King and his spouse, the Queen, the King's eldest son with spouse, being the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and the...

 and government. Volan became acting leader
Leaders of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions was founded in 1899, and has had the following leaders:- Leaders :*1899-1900: Hans G. Jensen*1900-1901: Dines Jensen*1901-1904: Adolf Pedersen*1904-1905: Joh. Johansen*1905-1906: Adolf Pedersen*1906-1925: Ole O...

 from 13 April 1940. On 14 April he co-signed a petition to the people to remain calm under the new German rule (following the Lysaker Bridge sabotage
Lysaker Bridge sabotage
The Lysaker Bridge sabotage was a sabotage action in World War II which occurred in Norway on the night between 13 and 14 April 1940 when a bridge at Lysaker, near Oslo, was blown up.-Background:...

). Volan was a member of the Nemnda for industri og omsetning, and participated in negotiations during the summer. Many trade unionists disliked his role. Nonetheless, he was removed by Germans in September 1940. Jens Tangen
Jens Tangen
-Career:Tangen chaired the trade union Norwegian Union of Building Workers from 1935, having been deputy chairman from 1933 to 1934. In 1940 he was a central member of Fagopposisjonen av 1940 , for which he chaired the executive committee...

 from Fagopposisjonen av 1940
Fagopposisjonen av 1940
Fagopposisjonen av 1940 was a grouping among Norwegian trade unionists in 1940, after the German invasion of Norway....

 was ordered by Germans to take over. Volan fled to Sweden, where he worked for the exiled part of the Confederation of Trade Unions. He was a Communist Party member for a brief time, but joined the Labour Party for the third time before 1945.

After the war, he was not sanctioned for the time as trade union leader in occupied Norway. He continued as union secretary until retirement in 1953, being re-elected in 1946 and 1949. He was a member of the Labour Court of Norway from 1954 to 1957. He died in December 1974 in Oslo.
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