Norway Oil Workers Agree Wage Deal, Avoid Strike


OSLO, July 2 (Reuters) - Norwegian offshore oil workers and employers signed a new wage deal on Saturday, avoiding a strike that would have cut the output from western Europe's top oil and gas producer by about six percent, employers and unions said.

Some 755 workers at fields operated by Statoil, ExxonMobil and Engie had threatened to strike if the talks had failed. A conflict would initially have capped Norway's daily oil and natural gas output by 229,000 barrels of oil equivalents.

"We've beaten back all attempts at weakening our terms," Safe union leader Hilde-Marit Rysst told Reuters. "On pay, we got a deal we can live with for this year," she added.

Unions were seeking pay increases in line with other industries while producers wanted workers to refrain from seeking such increases and to accept more flexible work practices, citing still weak oil prices.

In 2012 a 16-day strike among some of Norway's oil workers cut the country's output of crude by about 13 percent and its natural gas production by about 4 percent.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Stine Jacobsen)


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