No deal yet on Norwegian oil strike

July 9, 2012 at 9:27 AM
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OSLO, Norway, July 9 (UPI) -- Offshore oil workers in Norway are out of step with the rest of the country, a strike negotiator said as labor disruptions enter their second week.

A labor strike by offshore oil workers entered its 16th day Monday. The Norwegian Oil Industry Association estimates the work stoppage halted 15 percent of the country's oil production and halted 7 percent of its natural gas output.

Strikers are lobbying over pensions. Jan Hodneland, chief negotiator for the association, said "the offshore workforce is now refusing to contribute to the national effort" regarding pension reforms

The association, known as OLF, met last weekend with labor unions. Offshore workers want to be able to retire at age 62 with full pensions.

"Oil company employees have an average annual income of $133,000 and a retirement age of 65," said Hodneland. "This already makes them Norway's pension winners. They've nevertheless opted to use their power to win even better terms."

Norwegian oil company Statoil estimated the labor strike cut oil production by as much as 250,000 barrels per day. The strike, according to Hodneland, cost the energy sector around $25 million per day.

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