Union threatens strike action at Norway's onshore oil, gas facilities if wage talks fail

FILE PHOTO: A view of Equinor's oil platform in Johan Sverdrup oilfield in the North Sea, Norway August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nerijus Adomaitis

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s Safe labour union on Friday threatened strike action at Equinor’s Mongstad refinery and other oil and gas facilities if an upcoming round of wage talks fails to result in agreement.

A dozen workers at the Mongstad refinery could go on strike initially, in a first step towards broader labour action, the union said. In case of a protracted conflict, a strike could spread to other onshore facilities, with as many as 800 oil and gas workers potentially involved, Safe said.

Wage negotiations are due to be held late this month or in early February, led by a government-appointed mediator, Safe said.

Equinor’s natural gas processing plants at Kaarstoe and Kollsnes could see strike action, as could the Sture oil export terminal and the onshore control rooms of the Valemon and Martin Linge oilfields.

Workers at ExxonMobil’s Slagentangen refinery could also go on strike, along with employees at Lundin Energy, Wintershall Dea, KCA Deutag and Alexela Sloevag, Safe said.

“It’s too early to conclude what the potential consequences would be if it comes to a strike. Mongstad operations are running as normal,” an Equinor spokesman said.

The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, an industry group which negotiates with unions on behalf of companies, said it hoped to resolve the matter through mediation.

Other companies in Norway’s oil and gas sector have seen strike action in recent months over pay.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Susan Fenton