Norway’s offshore oil and gas workers threaten strike over wage agreement

Offshore attack actions in the UK North Sea sector are increasing
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Norway’s offshore oil and gas rigs and other installations may experience a strike if a wage agreement is not reached by June 29. Union Industri Energi announced that 913 workers are likely to go on strike if talks between the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) and the Safe, Industri Energi and DSO unions involving 6,000 to 7,500 drilling workers do not succeed. Workers who can go on strike work on 12 oil rigs, including Seadrill’s West Elara Rig, Odfjell’s north cape, and Transocean’s Spitsbergen, and as a contractor at Equinor’s Gullfaks field.

Drillers’ strike action does not usually affect oil and gas production in the short term, but it could have a larger impact in the long term as expansion projects and the commissioning of new fields could be delayed. Safe and DSO have not yet announced how many of their members would join the possible first wave of strikes. Talk has broken down between the NSA and the unions, and a state-appointed mediator will try to stem the outbreak of a strike.

Norwegian oil workers who are employed directly by companies such as Equinor and Conoco Phillips reached a collective bargaining agreement last month to avoid strikes at major oil and gas fields. The possible drilling workers’ strike highlights the importance of collective bargaining agreements in the oil and gas industry.

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