Strikes in Norwegian and UK offshore sectors averted
26 June 2015
Norwegian offshore oil and gas workers signed a new wage deal on June 25, removing the threat of a strike that could have affected production. Union representatives said all workers would get a minimum 1% wage increase, and some would get more. The Norwegian Shipowners' Association, negotiating on behalf of the employers, confirmed that an agreement has been reached.
Some 574 rig workers on facilities in the Varg and Knarr fields had threatened to go on strike, with unions saying that ultimately around 4,900 offshore workers could have become involved if talks had failed.
A strike could have ultimately escalated to around 4,900 workers, the unions said previously, but most of these employees work on exploration rigs and are not involved in ongoing oil production.
This follows the announcement on June 18 that UK offshore workers would consider an improved offer over job cuts and changes to shift patterns from the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), representing sector companies.
UK offshore unions had threatened to strike over changes to working rotas, rates of pay, sick pay and holiday patterns that many oil and gas firms are seeking in the wake of reduced oil prices.
Wood Group, BP, Shell, Talisman Sinopec, Chevron, Schlumberger and ConocoPhillips have cut thousands of jobs since November and there is continuing uncertainty over the future of the UK offshore oil and gas industry.
New Oil and Gas UK chief executive Deirdre Michie said: "To secure the future of the industry, it is important that we resolve issues by working together - companies, workforce, regulator, unions and government."