Decision on Statfjord BLeaks in Statfjord A

Statfjord Workers Union founded

person By Trude Meland, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
Company unions were basically an American phenomenon, which has traditionally been regarded in Norway as a divisive and egotistical way of organising workers. They are an integrated part of their company, a collaboration body between management and workforce.
— Two workers signing out tools at Statfjord A. Photo: Odd Noreger/Norwegian Petroleum Museum
© Norsk Oljemuseum

Such associations are organisationally tied to the employer, which means they are not independent or affiliated with other unions. That conflicts with the Norwegian – and to some extent European – understanding of what a union is.

Several company unions emerged on Norwegian North Sea installations during the 1970s. Statfjord had two of them. The one which attracted most attention was the Statfjord Workers Union (SaF), which was established as the Statfjord Committee in 1976 on the model of the Ekofisk Committee founded two years earlier.

Although starting as a company union confined to Mobil employees, the SaF quickly moved away from the concept as understood by Americans and was not in the company’s pocket.

It became obstinate and independent, willing to both strike and campaign. That marked the beginnings of a new union system in Norway. Several of the offshore company unions developed into grass-roots movements which challenged both the companies and the Norwegian collective bargaining system.

To learn more, see: Company unions on Statfjord A

Decision on Statfjord BLeaks in Statfjord A
Published November 21, 2019   •   Updated December 11, 2019
© Norsk Oljemuseum
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