March 22, 2018 / 4:04 PM / 6 months ago

Oil producer Norway calls in mediator to avert strikes

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian employers and labor unions failed to reach a deal in initial wage talks on Thursday, union sources told Reuters, leaving it up to a state-appointed mediator to avert widespread strikes that risk impacting output in western Europe’s biggest crude producer.

Negotiations will resume after the upcoming Easter holiday, ahead of an April 7 deadline, after which most workers are allowed to go on strike.

While Norway’s production of oil and natural gas is unlikely to be targeted from the start since the contract for rig workers’ is valid until June, unions may still hit the sector by shutting down yards and other suppliers.

Onshore processing and export facilities for natural gas are also at risk of strike, unions said, while offshore oil production workers could become involved in any extended strike.

Reporting by Camilla Knudsen, editing by Terje Solsvik

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