The industrial action has now hit helicopter flights to Norwegian offshore installations with full effect. Although several flights were brought forward at the weekend, a number of platform workers cannot get home or to work.
Personnel waiting on platforms or at the heliport have a pre union-negotiated right to payment of they cannot get to where they are supposed to be.
“Our staff gets paid for the entire 24-hour period if having to remain on the platform beyond the normal period of stay. They are paid overtime for the 12 hours they work, and the normal hourly rate for the other 12,” Statoil head of information Ole Anders Skauby told Aftenbladet.The strike has meant cancellations, moving, or postponement of several offshore flights for the Norwegian oil giant.
“Not all of our scheduled flights departed on Monday or Tuesday. There are still 20 we did not get to complete on Monday despite some being flown and brought forward at the weekend,” said Mr Skauby.
This means 380 personnel in total – 19 on each flight to and from offshore installations – either do not get home or to work on a daily basis.
Mr Skauby informed the paper he has no figures showing what waiting and overtime costs, but 2009 numbers from employers’ organisation The Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) showed waiting time cost operators an average of NOK 45,000 (about USD 7,360 at today’s ROE) per year per employee.
Most waiting time was for process engineers, who received an average of NOK 49,000 (approximately USD 8,000).
Overtime makes up a considerable part of an operator company employee’s annual wage, costing NOK 218,000 (roughly USD 35,600) on average in 2009. According to the OLF an average salary in 2009 was NOK 962,000 (about USD 157,460).