Statoil Strike Escalates
A total of 43 Statoil employees in the Norwegian Association for Salaried Employees (Nofu) will be downing tools on Monday September 16. This represents a further escalation of the strike under way since August 29th, which has already affected the group's Mongstad refinery near Bergen since midnight on September 9th. The new batch of strikers work in corporate services (KTJ) on procurement, document services, post, payments and invoice handling at Statoil's offices in Stavanger and Bergen.
"We'll be able to cope with this escalation, although it will mean delays and reduced service in some areas," says senior vice president Randi Grung Olsen in KTJ. Chief Statoil negotiator Jostein Gaasemyr finds it deplorable that more employees of the group are being drawn into the stoppage. "This is particularly incomprehensible when the main barrier to a solution appears to be pay terms in Esso which we have no opportunity to influence," he says.
Since the Mongstad facility was hit by the labor dispute, shipping traffic to and from its associated port has been sharply reduced. Shuttle tankers delivering crude oil from Norwegian offshore fields will be rerouted if necessary.
Production at the refinery is lower than normal as a consequence of the stoppage, but will probably be maintained until the planned turnaround shutdown starts on September 18. Statoil is working to ensure deliveries of fuel and heating oil in Norway should the strike prove long-lasting.