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Massive costs for unreasonable strike

The 114 oil workers who have downed tools on Norway's Continental Shelf (NCS) cost Norwegian society and the companies close to NOK 30 million a day.

“This represents a vast amount for a meaningless strike,” says Jan Hodneland, director of employer policy at the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF).

The Norwegian Union of Energy Workers (Safe) approached the OLF to secure a pay deal for these 114 workers in Baker Hughes, he notes.

At that time, the union must have been aware that any accord would necessarily have to be the same as all the existing agreements in the oil service sector.

“Safe is choosing to impose huge costs on society and the companies in a fight where it knows full well that victory is impossible,” says Mr Hodneland.

“As in other areas of Norwegian working life, agreements on pay and conditions must be the same for people doing the same type of job.

“Anything else would be unreasonable to more than 4 500 offshore service workers in other unions and to the rest of the Baker Hughes workforce.”

Essential
The striking workers do jobs essential for safe and acceptable drilling on the NCS. If a couple of people on a rig down tools, the whole drilling operation must in many cases be halted.

“This means that a strike imposes huge costs when drilling rigs have to suspend activities because of a small group’s unreasonable demands,” Mr Hodneland says.

“If Safe opts to continue fighting for the unattainable, the costs could quickly run into billions of kroner for various operational reasons.”

Further information from:
Eli Ane Nedreskår, communications manager OLF, +47 99 45 010 01

 

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