OSLO, March 28 Over 9,000 Norwegian industrial
workers, including some at key oil services companies, could go
on strike on April 2 if government mediation over wages and
pensions fails, unions said on Friday.
Initial mediation has broken down and the parties now start
forced mediation in the first set of major wage talks that will
later be followed by oil workers and public sector employees.
"There is significant distance between the parties," Nils
Dalseide, the national mediator told a news conference. "I think
we could come to an agreement, but there is no guarantee, and
there is a risk of strike up until the point we reach an
"From experience these talks usually goes on until the early
hours after the deadline," he added.
Union and employers hold wage negotiations every second year
and oil workers went on a two week strike in 2012, shutting part
of the country's vital offshore sector until the government
broke up the dispute.
Although unions have signalled muted wage demands, they also
want pension concessions which employers said they are not
willing to discuss.
The central bank expects wages to rise by 3.5 percent this
year, slowing from 3.9 percent in 2013 as economic growth slows.
The strike, if it goes ahead, could hit 102 companies,
including oil service firms Aker Solutions, Kvaerner
, Aibel, Worleyparsons, Nexans and
National Oilwell Varco.
(Reporting by Camilla Knudsen and Balazs Koranyi, editing by