'Strike threat' at Gjoa field

Strike risk: Gjoa platform off Norway

GDF Suez reportedly could be hit with strike action at its Gjoa field off Norway unless a settlement is reached in a pay dispute with unions in state mediation talks next month.

The Safe and Lederne unions are due to sit down with a state-appointed mediator for the talks on 16 and 17 June to resolve the impasse after earlier rejecting a pay settlement for platform workers due to a dispute over pension rights.

Unions want a lower retirement age for workers, similar to others enjoyed by others in the sector.

Under Norwegian law, unions have to specify how many people would down tools in the event of a strike and which facilities would be affected by such action.

Lederne said that 76 workers would walk out at the Gjoa field, which produced about 24,000 barrels per day of oil last year, if no wage and pension deal is reached.

Field operator GDF Suez was not available to comment.

The Safe union said earlier that 190 workers at ExxonMobil’s Ringhorne and Balder fields would initially strike if talks fail but labour action could then be ramped up if their demands were not met.

The two Norwegian fields at risk of a strike produced about 66,000 bpd of oil last year, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

The row over pensions has raised the spectre of a strike similar to a 16-day industrial stoppage in 2012 that crippled a large part of Norway’s oil and gas production.

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