Norwegian Strike Threatened
A Norwegian white-collar workers’ union has renewed a strike threat that could result in another shutdown of the country’s oil production of about 900,000 barrels a day.
The Academics Union said Wednesday that it will call a strike of air traffic controllers at the Bergen, Stavanger and Haugesund airports effective today. The union is seeking higher wages.
Because these airports are the landing and departure points for all helicopter traffic to and from Norway’s offshore oil platforms, such a strike could threaten production, said Hakon Lavik, a spokesman for Statoil A.S., the state-owned oil company. Lavik said it is too early to say how quickly the strike might halt or slow down oil production, but he said that in the event of a halt in helicopter traffic, “it would take a handful of days before the effect would be felt.”
A union representing 7,000 Norwegian oil workers said Wednesday that it would not allow workers to be brought to the platforms by boat and also would not allow overtime for platform workers.
In April, a caterers’ strike shut down Norway’s oil and gas production for three weeks.
The air controllers threatened to walk off their jobs last month but called off the action.