(Updates status of talks, background)
OSLO, April 2 Norwegian industrial workers and
their employers continued to negotiate more than nine hours
after a midnight deadline had passed on Wednesday in an effort
to avoid strike action that would hit around 125 companies, many
of them serving the country's vital offshore oil and gas
If the state-mediated talks break down, more than 11,000
workers will immediately go on strike and could be followed by
thousands more in the coming days and weeks.
Oil service firms Aker Solutions, Kvaerner
, Aibel, WorleyParsons, Nexans and
National Oilwell Varco are among the companies that
would be hit from the start.
"We are continuing the work as long as necessary, as long as
the parties want to," Nils Dalseide, the state-appointed
mediator, told reporters.
Union and employers hold major wage negotiations every
second year and oil workers went on strike for more than two
weeks in 2012, shutting some oil industry operations until the
The Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions wants a pay
deal that will maintain employees' purchasing power and improved
pension rights, while employers are worried that the country's
industry is becoming less competitive internationally.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Camilla Knudsen; Writing by
Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Greg Mahlich)