Norwegian Oil and Gas and three trade unions have begun the mediation process for collective pay agreements covering offshore employees in operator, drilling and catering companies on Norway’s continental shelf.
The unions involved are the Norwegian Union of Industry and Energy Workers (IE), the Norwegian Union of Energy Workers (Safe) and the Norwegian Organisation of Managers and Executives (Lederne).
Negotiations over these offshore agreements broke down in May. As a result, the parties are meeting on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 June at the office of the National Mediator of Norway. The process is being chaired by national mediator Mats Wilhelm Ruland who is accompanied by mediator Richard Saue.
“The lead sector agreement reached during the spring forms the basis for all collective pay settlements in the Norwegian labour market,” observes Elisabeth Brattebø Fenne, director of organisation and employer policy and lead negotiator at Norwegian Oil and Gas.
“It’s therefore important that our agreement ends up in line with the lead sector, so that pay rates in Norway do not reach a level detrimental to companies which export and compete internationally.”
Strike notices for 845
The three unions have already given notice of strike action by a total of 845 of their members if no agreement can be reached through negotiations.
That includes 251 members of Industry Energy working in Equinor ASA on Njord A and Johan Sverdrup Phase 2, and in Aker BP on Valhall.
This union also intends to take out 46 catering employees in ESS Support Services AS and 4Service Offshore Hotels working on the Safe Boreas, Floatel Endurance and Floatel Superior flotels.
In addition, Industry Energy has given notice of walkouts by 276 members involved in drilling at KCA Deutag Drilling Norge, who work on the Oseberg B, Oseberg C, Oseberg South, Oseberg East, Ringhorne and Kvitebjørn installations.
Safe will take out 40 operator employees working on Gudrun, Oseberg South and Oseberg East, as well as 158 members involved in drilling at KCA Deutag Drilling Norge on Oseberg South, Oseberg East, Oseberg B, Oseberg C, Ringhorne and Kvitebjørn as well as through the temporary replacement pool.
Lederne has notified strike action by 74 operator employees working on Gudrun, Oseberg South and Oseberg East.
Consequences of a possible strike
A possible strike could have consequences for production on affected fields.
A turnaround on Valhall is due to run until 24 June. Strike action would delay the resumption of production there.
Some 7 300 employees are covered by the offshore agreements. They work in the following oil, catering and drilling companies:
Equinor, ConocoPhillips Norge, Aker BP, Vår Energi, Wintershall Dea Norge, Lundin Energy Norway, Repsol Norge, Neptune Energy Norge, Okea, KCA Deutag Drilling Norge, Sodexo Remote Sites Norway, ESS Support Services, Coor Service Management and 4Service Offshore Hotels.