The Norwegian Shipowners' Association has announced a lockout in the ongoing labour dispute on Norwegian oil platforms.
This could lead to a complete stop of all oil and gas production on the Norwegian shelf in two weeks.
The lockout would include workers on 94 offshore service vessels and offshore loading tankers, effective Monday November 9th.
At the same time the Shipowner's Association will also announce locout of all OFS union members not affected by the platform conflict up to now.
The conflict has lasted for nearly four months, and has so far cost taxpayers more than NOK 1 billion, according to NRK.
A small group, representing less than 20 per cent of the employees, has put the whole industry under pressure to accept demands we cannot fulfill, without weakening the companies' competitive ability, says Shipowners' Association CEO Marianne Lie.
Experts believe the Government has no option but to order forced arbitration, before the lockout becomes effective, according to NRK Radio News.
25 October 2004
The Norway Post