Norway: Mediation starts over oil service pay deal

Mediation between the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and the Norwegian Union of Industry and Energy Workers (Industry Energy) over the collective oil service agreement is taking place today. The deadline is 24.00 tonight. If the agreement is not reached the union’s workers might down their tools.

Jan Hodneland, lead negotiator at Norwegian Oil and Gas: “Supplier companies have been particularly hard-hit by the decline in activity on the Norwegian continental shelf [NCS]. Many of them have been through a substantial restructuring in recent years.”

“That’s involved big cost cuts and constant downsizing. These companies can’t cope with further growth in their costs. That would make the position worse both for them and for the people they employ.”

Hodneland believes that “a cautious pay settlement” will help to improve the competitive terms for Norway’s supplier companies, and that both employers and unions must contribute preserving as many jobs as possible.

We have moderate requirements, said Industri Energi’s negotiator Ommund Stokka. He said the oil service workers need to be worth as much as others in the industry.

“We expect to reduce the pay gap between operator / drilling / catering and oil service staff, said chief negotiator” Stokka said.

Also, Industry Energy has said it will withdraw more than 300 members if the agreement is not reached. The workers are employed by five companies: Schlumberger Norge AS, Baker Hughes Norge AS, Halliburton AS, Oceaneering AS and Oceaneering Asset Integrity.

A possible walkout would primarily affect environmental treatment of drilling waste, and could call a halt to some drilling operations. It would not immediately affect oil and gas production on the NCS, the employers’ representative said.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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