Oil service workers go on strike in Norway

Over 300 oil service workers in Norway went on strike on Wednesday morning after mediation between the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and the Norwegian Union of Industri Energi failed. 

To remind, mediation over the collective oil service agreement between the employers’ organization in Norway and the workers’ union took place on Tuesday. The negotiations ended almost four hours past the original, midnight deadline but the agreement has not been reached.

The strike affects the following companies, Schlumberger Norge, Baker Hughes Norge, Halliburton Norge, Oceaneering, and Oceaneering Asset Integrity.

The walkout primarily affects environmental treatment of drilling waste, and could call a halt to some drilling operations, but it does not immediately affect oil and gas production on the NCS.

Industri Energi’s negotiator Ommund Stokka said the employers’ association did not show any willingness to meet the union’s demands. The union believes that by accepting the employers’ proposal, the gap between the operator / drilling / catering and oil service staff would increase dramatically.

“Norwegian Oil and Gas inflicts a completely unnecessary strike by enforcing principles, rather than willing to hold any negotiations or bargaining,” says Stokka.

The employers’ organization, on the other hand, said the union’s demands were unreasonably high. Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen, CEO of Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, said it was irresponsible to strike for a wage increase in a year when 40,000 people lost their jobs in the oil industry and while companies are still considering further downsizing.

The union secretary Einar Johannessen stated that at the beginning only a limited number of workers will participate but the strike will escalate unless the deal is reached.

Jan Hodneland, a chief negotiator at the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, noted the strike action is not showing solidarity to those who have lost their jobs so far.

Industri Energi said that strike is a right the workers have and an important tool to preserve or improve the workers’ wages and working conditions.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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