Bed-sharing oil workers merit big money: union

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Statoil's Statfjord B oil rig has been given the all-clear to implement hot-bedding until the end of 2014 (Photo: Harald Pettersen/Statoil)
15:16 CEST+02:00
Oil rig workers should be paid an extra 4,600 kroner ($750) a day for the inconvenience of having to share a cabin with an employee working another shift, a Norwegian labour union has argued.

While the government agrees that workers should be compensated for taking turns to sleep in the same cabin, a spat has broken out over an appropriate pay scale, newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad reports.

The Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) and the LO trade union federation have agreed on a sum of around 750 kroner ($120) a day.

But other labour groups argue that this figure is way too low considering the huge amounts of money oil firms save by not providing individual cabins for all workers.

Lederne, a trade union representing managers and engineers, has called for its night-shift workers to be paid a supplementary hot-bedding fee of 4,000 kroner a day. Day-shift workers should get 3,000 kroner, the union says.

What’s more, since cabins for hot-bedding colleagues are often outfitted with reversible beds or pull-out bunks, occupants should be paid the equivalent of an extra hour’s overtime, or around 600 kroner, for the inconvenience of having to fiddle with the beds, the union says.

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Terje Herland at Lederne’s Statoil group said the state-owned oil giant had taken a major step backwards by prioritizing hot-bedding over more worker-friendly solutions like floatel rental or the expansion of existing living quarters.

“When they’re saving billions on cabin-sharing, we don’t see any reason to sell ourselves cheap,” Herland told Stavanger Aftenblad.

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