Norway oil workers strike, pensions could cost billions
Some 700 offshore personnel are now on strike for the right to retire at 62 in a move that may cost Norway several billion kroner.
The walkout over employers’ refusal to include the right for 62-year-olds to draw a full pension in this year’s wage negotiations started following a collapse in two-day talks at the state mediator, early Sunday morning.
On one side of the dispute over collective pensions sits Norway’s Union of Energy Workers (SAFE), Industry Energy (Industri Energi), the Organisation of Managers and Executives (Lederne). Employer’s organisation the Oil Industry Association (OLF) and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) sit on the other.
“We won’t accept employers robbing us of our pensions, which is why we are striking,” declared Industry Energy and SAFE shop stewards, Leif Sande and Hilde-Marit Rysst, in a joint statement.
"Completely unreasonable pension demands"
The industrial action involves personnel at Statoil, BP, and ESS Support Services working on Skarv, the Oseberg Field Centre, Heidrun, and Oseberg’s “Floatel Superior”.
According to the OLF, production at Oseberg and Heidrun will have to cease, something that will take between four and five days to shut down, whilst Mid-Norway’s Tjeldbergodden industrial complex, supplied by Heidrun with gas feedstock, will have to shut down after one day.
Chief OLF negotiator Jan Hodneland lashed out at what he calls “completely unreasonable pension demands by the offshore unions clearly show that they’re placing themselves apart from other workers in Norway.”
Mr Hodneland believes the industrial action could be a dear one for Norway.
“The strike will cost roughly NOK 150 million per day (about USD 25.1 million), so it will not take long before the bill tops NOK 1 billion (roughly USD 167.7 million),” he concluded.
More on the topic:
- Employer’s association quashes oil workers’ pension demands
- Pensions row stops another oil pay deal
- Statoil offshore pension offer draws union despondency