SLB UK has deployed unorganized workers to carry out the work of the strikers
The British oil service company SLB UK is using unorganized people to perform the work that striking Industri Energi members were supposed to do on the NCS, thus the strike loses its effect.
Industri Energi’s nine striking members in SLB UK were to begin their work period period on the well stimulation vessel “Island Captain” on May 24 and without them the company would not be able to run operations. The strike would then have had full effect.
But just before this happened, SLB UK mobilized unorganized workers from the vessel “Island Centurion” which is at the shipyard in Ulsteinvik. The unorganized had work in connection with the rebuilding of the ship, but were instead ordered to travel to the strike-stricken ship, and take up work there.
The employees at “Island Centurion” disliked this, but were told that it would be a breach of the employment contract if they did not enter into the tasks of the strikes. It was justified by the fact that they were in their working period and that the company decided where they should work.
An almost full crew from “Island Centurion” was thus redirected to the strike-affected vessel “Island Captain”, which was then docked in Esbjerg in Denmark.
On the morning of 6 June, “Island Captain” entered the safety zone at Ekofisk and started the well stimulation job on the NCS. There are extensive tasks that are now being carried out and are not affected by the strike.
Our members’ work tasks are thus carried out by unorganised workers, and our strike loses its effect.
Everyone has the right to refuse to carry out strike-breaking
In Norway, all employees have the right to refuse to carry out strike-breaking work, and a court must decide whether it is strike-breaking work before work can be resumed.
In a strike situation, there is a “regularity criterion” that is used as a basis for the employer’s redeployment of labour. The Norwegian Labor Court has concluded that during a strike the employer’s right to reassign employees may be narrower than usual.
If, due to a strike, an employee works outside normal working hours, or performs work that deviates in nature or scope from what is usual, there are moments that can individually constitute strike breaking. If the unusual nature of the work is not related to the strike, there is no question of strike breaking.
Normal operation at “Island Captain” is that the employees work during their working period, and have a subsequent free period. On the same boat, with the same tasks and colleagues.
In recent years, only four people have left the well stimulation operation SLB UK is carrying out on “Island Captain”. All due to job promotion. Due to sickness absence, leave, overtime or the like, it has happened that employees have worked on a boat they do not normally work on. But it has never happened before that an entire work team or crew replaces another.
Salary increases for the unorganized
SLB UK has also approached our members personally a number of times, but not approached Industri Energi. Salary increases and bonuses have been offered to those on strike.
During the strike, the unorganized have received many pay rises, including a “Norway bonus”, increased basic pay and other bonuses. All have come after the mediation was carried out, and the strike became a fact.
Union busting – or trade union crushing – are methods used to undermine people’s ability to organise. It is a set of tools to make people afraid, undermines the representatives and the impact of a strike.
Increases the level of conflict between the parties
SLB UK is unable to perform well stimulation services for ConocoPhillips without the help of others.
Our members in Archer, Odfjell and ConocoPhillips are, in the situation we now find ourselves in, forced to help the unorganized to do the well stimulation job.
It is obvious that the oil company ConocoPhillips is fully informed and has accepted the situation that has now arisen.
Industri Energi reacts strongly to the way SLB UK now operates, and this increases the level of conflict between the parties. Together with our shop stewards in Odfjell, Archer and ConocoPhillips will carefully review the situation that has now arisen.