Norway: unions to meet over oil strike image

After nearly two weeks, Norwegian oil sector employers and labour unions will resume talks on Wednesday in an attempt to put an end to an offshore strike, which push Brent oil back above $100 a barrel on Tuesday.

Now in its 11th day, the strike has cut daily Norwegian oil production by an estimated 13 percent and gas output by around 4 percent and has resulted in delays to crude shipments from the world’s eighth-largest exporter.

The leaders last met on June 29 and said they would reconvene today to decide whether or not to escalate the strike.

‘Our members show a strong backing for the strike,’ SAFE union leader Hilde Marit Rysst told Reuters as the meeting began.

“We are to meet today at 1500 (1300 GMT) at the state mediator’s office. We will try to find a solution to the strike,” Eli Ane Nedreskaar, a spokeswoman for OLF, told Reuters.

Energi Industri, SAFE and Lederne are the three unions representing workers. Their demand for better pension terms has been rebuffed by the Oil Industry Association, which says that current talks should be confined to discussions about wages.

Norway’s government has the power to force an end to strikes that it believes affect security or vital national interests, but has so far said the conflict should be resolved by the unions and the oil companies themselves.