Norway: Mediation starts on offshore supply base workers’ wages
After the employers and offshore supply bases workers in Norway failed to reach a collective pay deal in Norway last month, it was decided that the solutions would be sought after through mediation.
About 800 employees are covered by the land base settlement, which is subject to this mediation on Thursday and Friday this week. They work at offshore supply bases along the whole Norwegian coast.
Mediation is taking place at the Oslo offices of the National Mediator from 10.00 on 16 June. Two days are allocated for the talks, with the deadline set at midnight on 17 June.
According to the employers’ representative, Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, the offshore supply bases, have also been hit by the downturn in activity within the oil sector, and are experiencing heavy pressure on costs. Following the oil price slump, the companies have had to renegotiate contracts and reduce prices for their services, the employers’ negotiator said.
No room for pay growth
According to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, the supply bases have never been that part of the Norwegian petroleum industry with the best margins, and their weakened profitability over the past couple of years means that no room is left for pay growth. On the contrary, the negotiator said, an expectation prevails that the employees will contribute to bringing down costs – in part by looking at negotiated agreements in order to strengthen the profitability and flexibility of the companies.
“To get through this demanding time and preserve as many jobs as possible at the supply bases, we believe that cost-cutting changes are important,” says Jan Hodneland, lead negotiator for Norwegian Oil and Gas. “The opposite could happen if pay rises are awarded this year. They could mean a loss of jobs because the companies would have to seek further cost cuts.”
Strike won’t affect output
Responding to a potential strike threat, Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said that, oil and gas production is unlikely to be affected by a possible strike.
The Norwegian Union of Industry and Energy Workers (Industry Energy) has given notice of walkouts at the following companies in the event of a strike:
CCB Mongstad, 154 members (all)
NorSea, 129 members
Vestbase, Florø department, 34 members (all)
Asco, Sola department, 34 members (all)
In addition, a walkout has been notified at a company not in the Confederation of Norwegian Industry (NHO):
IKM Testing base Sola, 57 members (all)