OSLO May 28 Workers operating oil rigs off
Norway reached a deal in wage talks with employers on Wednesday
to avert a strike after similar negotiations with other oil
sector workers broke down in recent weeks.
Two unions representing workers who operate oil drilling
rigs reached a deal with the Norwegian Shipowners' Association,
representing their employers, the Safe and Industri Energi
"We achieved results for some of our demands but had to
compromise on other demands in this particular instance,"
Hilde-Marit Rysst, head of Safe, said in a statement.
"We are pleased with the overall financial settlement," Leif
Sande, head of the Industri Energi union, said separately.
Two years ago, about 10 percent of Norway's offshore workers
went on strike for 16 days, cutting oil output by 13 percent and
gas production by 4 percent.
The dispute ended when oil firms threatened a full lockout
and the government stepped in to impose a deal. The strike
helped push oil prices above $100 per barrel.
This year, three rounds of talks with other types of oil
workers - platform workers, oil services employees and those
operating onshore supply bases - have broken down. These are
heading for state mediation in the coming weeks.
The first of the mandatory mediation rounds is scheduled for
Unions have said if the talks fail, they would shut down two
ExxonMobil platforms and one operated by GDF Suez
with combined production of around 80,000 barrels of
oil per day.
The government, however, can force through a settlement if
it believes a strike would threaten Norway's economic interests.
(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; editing by Jason Neely)