Norway Industrial Workers Avert Strike With Wage Deal
OSLO, April 2 (Reuters) – Norway’s industrial workers struck a last minute wage deal on Wednesday, averting a strike that would have involved some of the country’s top oil services firms, unions and employers said. The sides agreed on wage rises worth about 3.3 percent, which will favour lower paid employees. They also agreed on more beneficial terms for offshore workers and to negotiate new pension deals at a later stage. “This deal is more expensive than I had hoped but we can still live with the terms of the settlement,” said Stein Lier-Hansen, the director or Norsk Industri, the employers’ group. Unions threatened to strike action among more than 11,000 workers if government mediation failed and oil service firms Aker Solutions, Kvaerner, Aibel, WorleyParsons, Nexans and National Oilwell Varco would have been among the companies hit hardest. Offshore oil service workers will get an additional wage supplement and get four weeks of rest for every two weeks spent offshore, like oil workers, the sides agreed. Union and employers hold major wage negotiations every second year and oil workers went on strike for more than two weeks in 2012, shutting some oil industry operations until the government intervened.