History’s longest strike on the Norwegian continental shelf

Nine brave IE&FLT members in the oil service company SLB UK have been in a tough fight for almost a year, they are striking for something as fundamental in Norwegian working life as a collective agreement.

Translated by Google: The strike is the longest ever on the Norwegian continental shelf. Now is the time to put hard against hard and get the collective agreement in place! We are now ready to take 75 members at Ekofisk, as well as ten at OneSubsea, on a sympathy strike.

Our members in SLB UK are on strike, because they have far worse pay and working conditions than industry colleagues who do exactly the same work.

SLB UK refuses to deal with you having Norwegian pay and working conditions on the Norwegian continental shelf, regardless of which country you come from. Instead, the company has chosen to escalate the conflict by:

• not recognize that IE&FLT can represent the members of SLB UK

• use strike breakers to carry out work tasks

• dismiss several of the employees who are on strike

• relocate the rest to other parts of the world

• give a bonus to employees who do not join a trade union

SLB UK is not only attacking its own employees, they are also attacking the Norwegian model and everyone who works on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The strike breaker of SLB UK prevents the strike from taking effect. That is why IE&FLT is calling out members at Archer, ConocoPhillips at Ekofisk, and the SLB company OneSubsea on a sympathy strike. It is possible because IE&FLT and LO recently won a historic victory in the Labor Court.

The Labor Court unanimously states that it is Norwegian laws and regulations that apply on the Norwegian continental shelf!

This historic strike is important for everyone who works on the Norwegian continental shelf. We cannot accept that companies should be given the opportunity to organize away from Norwegian wage and working conditions!

The most important thing you can do for the IE&FLT members who are on strike is to show that you support them.

We must stand strong together until the collective agreement is in place!

Questions and answers

Why are we on strike at SLB UK?

Answer: Because SLB UK engages in social dumping on the NCS and refuses to enter into a collective agreement with us.


Answer: The British oil service company SLB UK performs well stimulation services from the vessel “Island Captain” on Ekofisk, on the Norwegian continental shelf. The employees of SLB UK carry out work that is covered by the oil service agreement, but their pay and working conditions are far below the level in the industry. The employees are members of IE&FLT, but the company refuses to recognize the union and refuses to enter into a collective agreement with us.

Who is SLB UK?

Answer: SLB UK is the British part of the world’s largest oil services company, SLB, formerly known as Schlumberger. The group changed its name to SLB in autumn 2022.

What are IE&FLT’s requirements?

Answer: Our main requirement is that as long as you work on the Norwegian continental shelf you must have Norwegian wages and working conditions. It does not matter what nationality neither you nor your employer have. There must be no opening for companies to be able to organize themselves away from Norwegian collective agreements.

Why do we go on sympathy strikes, by taking out members in other companies on strike?

Answer: Because SLB UK has employed unorganized workers to carry out the work of our striking members. Thus the strike loses its effect. And we have to use other means.

What is a sympathy strike?

Answer: A sympathy strike is when employees go on strike, not for their own demands, but in support of other workers who are on strike. For a sympathy action to be legal, two important prerequisites apply: The main conflict must be legal. And those who go on strike in sympathy must not benefit directly from the outcome of the main conflict.

Are the strike and sympathy strikes legal?

Answer: Yes, the Labor Court ruled unanimously that this is a Norwegian labor dispute. And that LO and IE&FLT can legally use sympathy actions to support the strikers in the British oil service company SLB UK.

Why is the recent judgment in the Labor Court so important?

Answer: The court states that it is Norwegian law and Norwegian courts that must decide the legality of strikes that apply to demands for Norwegian wages and working conditions for work in Norway, and on the continental shelf, also in those cases where the employer is a foreign company.