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Managers from Norwegian oil services company Aker Solutions are travelling to the Mariner platform in the North Sea where workers launched an unofficial strike over the weekend demanding better working conditions, better management, and the return of a bonus offer, a representative of the workers who organized without the involvement of any trade union told The Telegraph.
The strike needs urgent addressing as the multibillion-dollar Mariner project is scheduled to start pumping oil before the year’s end, with peak production estimated at 55,000 bpd. The field’s productive life should continue for 30 years, with recoverable reserves seen at 250 million barrels of crude.
The workers’ representative, James Furie, also warned of an escalation of the two four-hour sit-ins at the platform on Saturday if the companies primarily involved in the Mariner project—Aker Solutions and the field’s operator Statoil—did not find a quick resolution. “This action will escalate if Aker and Statoil think they can continue to treat us this way,” he said.
According to Furie, some 200 Aker Solutions workers took part in the sit-ins, along with another 50 employees of engineering firm Fluor’s local subsidiary. Company representatives have not spoken to the media with any concrete suggestions about a solution to the problem.
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Meanwhile, Norway’s government is having its own trouble with oil workers, after last month wage and pension negotiations broke down between the two biggest trade unions in the country and an employers’ association.
Now the government has stepped in as mediator, seeking to avert a strike among the 250,000 people employed in Norway’s private sector. Workers from the oil and gas industry will have to wait until June if they want to join such a megastrike because of an earlier arrangement with employers in the industry. June is but three months away, however, so the government is in a rush to settle the differences between workers and employers.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.