Third wage talks failure in Norway

Norway oil fund24 May 2014, News Wires – Wage negotiations with workers at Norwegian onshore supply bases broke down on Friday and will now be referred to a state-appointed mediator in a repeat of earlier failures, raising the threat of a three-pronged strike in the country’s oil sector.

Industry association Norwegian Oil & Gas (Norog) criticised unions for having “too high expectations” after the failure of the latest wage discussions with Industri Energi, representing about 1000 workers with service companies such as KCA Deutag Drilling and Coast Center Base.

It followed the earlier breakdown of talks with unions representing oilfield service workers and  platform personnel that have also gone to state arbitration, with mediation talks for the latter group set to take place on 16 and 17 June.

Norog’s head negotiator Jan Hodneland told news service Platts that the differences between the parties was so wide that there was an increasing risk of mediation failing and all three sets of workers taking strike action.

“There has been a gap we have been unable to close in the negotiations. We have of course three different areas. There may be industrial action in all of them,” he was quoted as saying.

The Safe and Lederne unions have earlier identified the ExxonMobil-operated Ringhorne and Balder fields and GDF Suez-operated Gjoa field as being at risk of strike action if mediation talks fail.


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