Baker Hughes' Norwegian Workers 'Prepared to Strike for Years'

Baker Hughes' Norwegian Workers 'Prepared to Strike for Years'

Workers are prepared to strike "for years" in the latest industrial action to affect Norway's energy industry, according to Norwegian energy sector union SAFE.

The strike, said the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF), involves up to 114 Baker Hughes workers on 12 different installations. At least five oil and gas rigs will be shut due to the strike, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
The action could also delay the scheduled drilling of production and exploration wells for a number of oil companies, which include Statoil, Marathon Oil, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Suncor Energy, Centrica and Eni.
However, the strike will not begin in earnest until controlled shutdowns of operations are completed in a safe manner. For example, a controlled shutdown of operations at Oseberg Ost is not expected to be completed until June 25.
The dispute has come out of a merger completed at the start of February between Baker Hughes Norway, BJ Services and BJ Process & Pipeline Services, which saw employees of the two latter companies transferred to Baker Hughes Norway.
The SAFE union accuses Baker Hughes of financing its acquisition of these businesses by reducing workers' benefits.
On Monday, SAFE Vice Chairman Roy Alexandersen said that his union is prepared for a prolonged strike at Baker Hughes.
"We can strike for weeks, months and years if necessary," he said in a statement.
In response, Håvard Hauan, a lawyer for OLF, said: "The new collective agreement with SAFE could under no circumstances be more lucrative than the existing agreement with the other union, Industri Energi. We are surprised that the union did not understand that."
The strike action is just the latest industrial dispute to hit Norway's energy industry. Two weeks ago, members of the Industri Energi union within the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate – the body that oversees the Norwegian oil and gas industry – took part in a strike in connection with wage settlements in the state sector, although they returned to work on June 4.
Meanwhile, the latest action comes ahead of a potential larger strike in Norway's export oil sector. To prevent this, the country's National Mediator has set a June 23 deadline for this year's wage settlement between unions and the oil industry after negotiations failed over Statoil's ending of an early pensions deal. Any resultant strike could shut down most of Norway's daily production of 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Kjetil Malkenes Hovland of Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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Nick | Aug. 1, 2012
Baker Hughes Has Been A Major Disappointment To All Of Previous BJ Employees. Medical , Vision & Prescription Coverage Has Been Reduced. HR Runs The Company. People That Have NO Idea What It Takes For Us To Do Our Job Are In-charge. All I Hear About Is Others Looking At Other Employment. And Seeing Others Leave. The Slogan At Work Is What Else Have They Taken From Us This Week. Our Customers Tell Us That It Was A lot Better When It Was BJ . And That Since Baker Has Taken Over That We Have Gone To $@&* SAD SAD SAD.

Micky DeLoach | Jun. 15, 2012
I worked on oil rigs in South TX for about 4 months, as a mudlogger trainee, I had one day with a unit mgr that tried to help me with the study notebook they gave me to study one day prior. I didnt pass the test and the person in charge of the testing said he knew the guys I was working with and said 5 of them were being terminated because they were being paid a premiun to train and 8 other trainees didnt pass the tests either. If I had a qualified trainer, that I could work with for a couple weeks and learn the computer work (which I was never allowed to put in the information) I would get back in the business and go wherever the co wanted me to go!! I have 2.5 yrs of college and the 3.5 months experience . my email address is Sincerely, I worked on a couple Baker Hughs wells. Micky DeLoach

Bob | Jun. 12, 2012
was a strike in Indoninsia over the same issue. BJ employees stopped working over cuts to compesations. Baker is also seeing massive turnover in its pressure pumping services world wide over wage cut up to 40%.

nick | Jun. 12, 2012
baker hughes... full of scotish mafia.

Leandro Orjuela | Jun. 12, 2012
I am agree with The SAFE union accuses Baker Hughes of financing its acquisition of these businesses by reducing workers benefits. I would like to contact the leaders of this organization to support and let them my case. My case will help them to support their cause, it is happening around the world. Regards Leandro Orjuela

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