Shut down gas plants even if the guards wanted to stay...

On Saturday, the gas plant at Nyhamna in Møre og Romsdal was shut down. The reason was initially that four security guards working at the facility were taken out on strike in connection with the escalation of the security guard strike.

According to Norsk Olje og Gass, the operator Gassco was not granted a dispensation from the security guard strike. And since the four guards were important for the emergency preparedness at the facility, the terminal could not be open, it was claimed.

Alfred Hansen is responsible for system operation at Gassco.

Photo: Øyvind Sætre / Gassco

Now, however, the plant will start up again tomorrow. This happens after Shell, which is responsible for emergency preparedness at the plant, has changed its mind.

– Shell has found a solution for the emergency preparedness tasks that are handled in a responsible manner with its own resources, writes responsible for system operation in Gassco, Alfred Hansen, to NRK in an SMS.

NHO said no to dispensation

The shutdown could would have been avoided if Gassco had been granted a dispensation from the security strike.

Dispensation means that the strikers are allowed by the striking organization to work. In that case, the employers must also agree that a dispensation can be granted.

But NHO Service og Handel said no.

Adm. dir i NHO Service / Handel Anne Cecilie Kaltenborn

Anne-Cecilie Kaltenborn, CEO of NHO Service og Handel

Photo: Peder Bergholt / NRK

– In this case, as in the others, we have considered it very carefully. What we have agreed on is a downsizing agreement with Shell. We do this because it is important with a proper shutdown of the facility, said CEO Anne-Cecilie Kaltenborn in NHO Service og Handel to NRK earlier today.

The guards wanted to keep the facility open

Shutting down the gas terminal is costly. The plant is one of northern Europe’s largest gas terminals and draws in about NOK 100 million a day in revenue.

This is one of the reasons why the guards themselves wanted to grant a dispensation from the strike.

– We know from experience what it means to paralyze the oil and gas industry in Norway, so this time it has not been our intention, says Brede Edvardsen, deputy leader of the Norwegian Workers’ Union.

In 2012, a strike on the Norwegian shelf was met with notice of lockout by employers in Norwegian Oil and Gas. The costs of virtually closing down the entire Norwegian continental shelf would be formidable.

The employees therefore believed that Norsk Olje og Gass was speculating in a compulsory wage board. That was also the result before the lockout became something of.

Stuck conflict

The guards in the Norwegian Workers’ Union have been on strike since 15 September, according to the Ombudsman.

Last week, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions made a new offer to employers. According to Fri Fagbevegelse, it had a framework within the front subject’s wage growth of 1.7 per cent and a proposal for a solution to NAF’s most important battle issue: fixed salary.

The requirement is that security guards who work more than 20 per cent of positions must receive a fixed salary and not be paid by the hour. In addition, they proposed that security guards who work full-time full-time during the day should have the right to time off on moving holidays.

NHO Service og Handel rejected the offer.

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