New Strike Threatened Sunday in Norway

Reports from Norway suggest there could be a new oil sector strike in the country this Sunday.

Reuters reported the Industri Energy union as saying offshore drilling workers at installations operated by KCA Deutag in two North Sea fields would strike, although production would not be affected. The installations are at the Exxon-operated Ringhorne and Statoil-operated Kvitebjoern fields.

A new strike has come about after 159 Norwegian oil drilling workers won a labor court case against the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF), which had challenged the legality of the strike.

Norwegian news service E24 reported the leader of the Industri Energi union, Leif Sande, as saying that sympathy actions by other oilfield workers could also take place.

The threatened action is just the latest in a series of disputes to plague the Norwegian oil sector this summer. In July, a 16-day strike throughout the Norwegian offshore oil sector was brought to an end through the Ministry of Labor's use of emergency powers to force an arbitration process.

And only last weekend, OLF reported that there had been a breakdown in pay talks in the Norwegian oilfield services sector.

"We put a good offer on the table," said OLF chief negotiator Jan Hodneland in statement on August 25. "It was financially in line with the settlements reached in other Norwegian pay agreements this year."

Both sides in the dispute will now meet at the office of Norway's National Mediator in order to reach a resolution for the oilfield services sector.



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