The strike called by the Norwegian Union of Industry and Energy Workers (Industry Energy) has had major consequences for drilling and well operations on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The number of workers laid off as a result now exceeds the total who have actually downed tools.
Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and Halliburton have laid off 350 people today. The great majority work for Baker Hughes.
Further layoffs are expected over the next few days in various companies directly or indirectly affected by the stoppage.
The strike began at 07.00 on Wednesday 21 September and has now lasted a week. Industry Energy has taken out about 300 of its members in Schlumberger Norge AS, Baker Hughes Norge AS, Halliburton AS, Oceaneering AS and Oceaneering Asset Integrity AS.
Why the companies are laying people off
Companies affected by strike action no longer have work for all their employees after shutting down jobs on offshore installations. When a rig ceases to drill, for example, personnel responsible for technical support on the facility are no longer required.
Nor will logistics personnel be needed to dispatch tools and chemicals to and from the rig, nor employees at workshops on land involved in equipment maintenance and repair.
All the people who work every day to keep a rig in operation no longer have anything to do as a result of the strike.
Companies suffer financial losses when they have to shut down their offshore operations. The only way to reduce this drain on their resources is to lay employees off on a temporary basis.
“The companies are already in a financially challenging position,” observes Jan Hodneland, lead negotiator for the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association. “We find it very regrettable that companies and employees end up in a position where jobs are put at risk.”
Norwegian Oil and Gas has made a pay offer to Industry Energy’s members covered by the oil service agreement which gives them a rise in line with that received by the lead sector.
Jan Hodneland, lead negotiator, Norwegian Oil and Gas, mobile +47 913 41 301
Kolbjørn Andreassen, communication manager, Norwegian Oil and Gas, mobile +47 952 82 808