Norway government ends oil and gas strike
Norway’s government has used emergency powers to step in and force offshore oil and gas workers back to work, ending a 16-day strike.
Production was due to be shut down from Tuesday with companies set to lock out workers in a dispute over pensions.
“I had to make this decision to protect Norway’s vital interests,” Labour Minister Hanne Bjurstroem told Reuters.
She was speaking after a last-ditch effort was made to end the row between energy companies and trade unions.
The intervention means that the National Wages Board will facilitate “forced abritration” to end the row over retirement rights. It is unclear how long this process will take.
It means there will be no lockout of the 6,500 offshore energy workers and they will carry on working as normal.
“It wasn’t an easy choice, but I had to do it,” the labour minister said.
Leif Sande, the leader of the largest trade union Industri Energi, said workers would return to work immediately.
“It’s very sad. The strike is over,” he told journalists.
Pictured: Norway is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter