US staff ‘told to leave’ at Statoil

22 October 2015, News Wires – Around 70 Statoil employees reportedly were stripped of their jobs with immediate effect at its Houston-area offices in the US after refusing to take voluntary redundancy as part of manpower cutbacks at the Norwegian state-run oil giant.

StatoilThey are among 100 workers who have so far been laid off in the US where Statoil aims to cut 15% – or 150 – of its 1000-strong workforce, Norwegian publication Stavanger Aftenblad reported.

Retrenched staff – largely drawn from the company’s IT, technical and communication departments within its upstream business – were offered voluntary redundancy packages or alternative positions within the Statoil organisation.

However, a company spokesman confirmed that not enough workers applied for voluntary redundancy, and therefore, those who had not found alternative jobs were informed in meetings last week that they had been sacked.

Employees in Houston and Austin were affected, the report said.

“Those who were not able to retain their employment then had to meet with career advisors in the human resources department. There they were asked to hand in their identity cards and computer, and were informed of the content of the redundancy package,” the spokesman was quoted as saying.

“Afterwards they were taken to the elevator by human resources personnel and then led out by security guards.”

Those who were told to leave have been given the same redundancy packages based on length of service as workers who left voluntarily, which the spokesman said “were very competitive in the context of US conditions”.

However, he refused to confirm the precise number of those ordered to take enforced redundancy, which the publication has obtained from other sources.

He also warned there would be a further round of US redundancies to meet the targeted tally of job cuts.

Statoil has so far cut 2335 personnel – including 1340 permanent staff and 995 consultants – out of its global workforce, representing a reduction of nearly 10%, since 2013.

It has largely carried out the redundancies through natural attrition, internal transfers of staff to new positions, cessation packages and early retirement under mostly voluntary arrangements.

The manpower cuts are part of the company’s stated target to make annual savings of $1.7 billion from 2016 in an efficiency drive.


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