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Oil Norway stops due to lookout

Norwegian Shipowners’ Association wants an end to the four month long oil rig strike and stops all oil and gas production.

Since this summer, employees at oil rigs organized in the Federation of Oil Workers’ Trade Unions (OFS) have been on strike. The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association responded by a partial lookout, but there is still no movement in the conflict.

The conflict has now escalated. As of Monday, November 8, at midnight, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association takes 94 offshore service ships and offshore loaders on the Norwegian shelf out in a lockout. One week later, all production of oil and gas on the Norwegian shelf will stop.

The stop will inflict large losses on oil companies, suppliers and the Norwegian government. With the current high oil prices, Norway is producing oil for NOK 1 billion (USD 155 million) daily, not including the gas production, which daily amounts to about NOK 200 million (USD 31 million).

In addition to the losses connected to direct production, the lockout may stop current development and maintain work.

«A small group, which represents less than 20 percent of the employees, has put the entire industry under pressure in order to force through demands that they know the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association can not approve without considerably weakening the industry’s competitive ability,» said Marianne Lie, CEO in the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.

Lie does not hide the fact that the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association tries to split the workers who are organized in OFS. More than 2000 OFS members who work at the production platforms will be temporary laid off when the oil production stops. The employers hope the OFS members on production rigs will press the rig employees to stop the strike.

The sympathy lookout includes 2500 employees from the Norwegian Union of Marine Engineers (NUME), the Norwegian Marine Officers Association (NMOA), and Norsk Sjømannsforbund. In addition, another 350 OFS organized will be takes out of work at the rigs in the lockout.

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