Norwegian drilling labor unions seek mediation as wage talks falter

May 20, 2022
The wage talks involved about 8,000 oil drilling workers in Norway, raising the risk of strike action that would disrupt oil and gas exploration.

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway — There was a break in the negotiations May 19 between Industri Energi and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association (NSA) in the collective bargaining agreement for mobile rig employees, according to a recent Industri Energi news release.

The wage talks involved about 8,000 oil drilling workers in Norway, raising the risk of strike action that would disrupt oil and gas exploration.

The negotiations for the mobile rig agreement include the union’s members for mobile offshore facilities as well as platform drilling on permanently placed facilities on the Norwegian shelf.

The negotiations had been ongoing in Oslo for two days.

“We have had discussions, but the distance between the parties was too great for us to reach agreement” said Frode Alfheim, union leader.

The negotiations now go to mediation, but a date for mediation has not yet been confirmed.

The mobile rig agreement covers approximately 4,300 Industri Energi members who work for companies such as Maersk Drilling, Transocean, Odfjell Drilling, Seadrill, Dolphin Drilling, Saipem, Rowan/Valaris, KCA Modu, Noble, Archer, Teekay, Sodexo, ESS, 4service offshore and more.

When the talks between the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and the Safe, Industri Energi and DSO unions resume at a later date under the leadership of a state-appointed mediator, they could end in a strike if those negotiations fail. Under Norway's tightly regulated collective bargaining system, workers are only eligible to go on strike if the mediation also fails.