Norway Offshore Drilling Workers Threaten to Strike

June 11, 2021

An offshore rig in Norway - Credit.Kisa_Markiza/AdobeStock
An offshore rig in Norway - Credit.Kisa_Markiza/AdobeStock

Some 1,065 members of two Norwegian labour unions could go on strike on June 17 if wage talks fail, hitting oil exploration and other drilling services, the unions said on Friday.

A strike would not affect oil and gas output in the initial round, Industri Energi said. It was not immediately clear whether Safe's plans would affect oil and gas output.

If the upcoming talks fail, Industri Energi planned to take an initial 605 members out on strike, it said in a statement. The Safe union told Reuters it planned to take some 460 members out.

A third, smaller, union has also said it would strike if the wage talks fail, but has not yet said how many of its members would be affected initially.

TALKS

Initial wage talks between the Norwegian Shipowners' Association (NSA) and three labor unions broke down last month, and will resume on June 16 under the guidance of a state-appointed mediator.

The talks affect the work conditions of more than 8,000 oil drillers and service workers, and any strike could gradually be escalated to encompass some or all of those unions members.

Companies performing drilling services on behalf of oil firms in Norwegian waters include Transocean, Saipem, Odfjell Drilling, Maersk Drilling, Archer, Seadrill, and others.

The Safe, Industri Energi, and DSO unions, representing workers on mobile offshore units and platform drilling on permanent installations, asked last month for the settlement to be brought before a state-appointed mediator.

Under Norway's tightly regulated collective bargaining system, unions are only eligible to declare a strike if the mediation also fails. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Louise Heavens)

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