Oil service strike idles more drilling rigs

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A strike in the oil service sector that started last week is steadily putting drilling rigs out of service. Norwegian rig owners are thus emerging as affected third-parties even though the oil service companies like Halliburton and Schlumberger are bearing the burden of the costs.

“I hope they find a solution,” Bjørnar Iversen, head of rig owner Songa, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). “Everyone needs to show moderation and responsibility in times like these. We’re all suffering enough as it is.”

Labour organization Industri Energi called 300 of its oil service worker members off the job last Wednesday and is showing no signs of relenting. “Ask ‘Schøtten’ how he feels now that he’s declared war against (trade union federation) LO,” Industri Energi boss Leif Sande told DN, referring to Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen, the former top Labour Party politician who now heads employers’ organization Norsk olje og gass. Schjøtt-Pedersen refused to meet Sande’s demands for pay raises that the employers claim are higher than what other industries have received this year, not least at a time when nearly 40,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry have been cut since oil prices sank.

Sande is undaunted: “Now we want a settlement where we’ll get just as much as others.” He claims catering and drilling personnel has received raises of as much as NOK 13,000 per year, while his members have only been offered NOK 3,000. More workers will be called out on strike, his union has vowed, if demands are not met.

newsinenglish.no staff