Strike threat looms as Norway union halts pay talks

Offshore staff

OSLO, NorwayNorway’s main industrial trade union has broken off talks regarding annual salary negotiations with employers, increasing the chances of strike action at the country’s companies, including those in the oil and gas industry, according to a Reuters report.

Agreement between Fellesforbundet, which Reuters characterized as “the most influential union within Norway’s confederation of unions,” and Norsk Industri, a collective representing employers across all Norwegian industries, must be reached by the deadline of midnight on April 2.

If the parties do not reach an agreement then the 26,000 members will strike beginning at 6 am on April 3. Norsk Industri said that the potential stoppage would affect all of its organized companies. Fellesforbundet’s statement said that 800 companies could be affected.

These wage talks are annual, and include talks on pay increases and other working conditions for unionized workers, Reuters explained, noting that strike is usually avoided after several rounds of talks.

However, the news service continued, an oil workers’ strike in 2012 halted around 13% of Norway’s oil production and 4% of its gas output.

Some of the oil and gas companies named in the report that stand to be affected are Aker Solutions and Kongsberg. Reuters noted that Statoil declined to comment as its employees are not directly involved in the talks.

03/30/2016

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