Start-up, initial production and first cargoStatfjord A comes on stream

Sick pay scheme

person By Trude Meland, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
Union-management disputes on Statfjord moved on to the sick pay scheme during November 1979. Catering personnel on the A platform threatened to strike from the day production was due to start unless agreement was reached on how this arrangement was to be implemented in practice.
— Employees at SAS Catering have a break in the mess at Statfjord A. Photo: Odd Noreger/Norwegian Petroleum Museum
© Norsk Oljemuseum

They claimed that SAS Catering applied the scheme in such a way that personnel risked losing three weeks’ pay when they were only on sick leave for two weeks. This was possible because of the shift system. The catering personnel’s’ interpretation of the law was backed by both the National Insurance Administration and the Ministry of Social Affairs.

A catering strike would have crippled the whole platform. In addition to the sick pay issue, personnel in this category were annoyed that pregnant women were sent ashore without pay on the day their condition became known. Under the headline “Felt forced to have an abortion”, Labour daily Rogalands Avis wrote about a women who was unable to complete her pregnancy for financial reasons.

“After her condition became known, she was refused permission to work on the platform. But no suitable job was available for her on land, and she therefore received no pay either. At the same time, she could not be dismissed, and therefore received no unemployment benefit. Finally, the medical reasons cited for refusing her permission to work on the platform were not considered appropriate for other social security payments.”[REMOVE]Fotnote: Rogalands Avis, 31 October 1979. Følte seg tvunget til abort.

No strike took place. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Employees Association (NOGMF) and SAS Catering finally agreed that the latter would meet all on-going sick pay for its employees in anticipation that the law would be adjusted to take account of offshore workers.

In addition, the company would seek to find work for pregnant women on land or lay them off so that they could receive unemployment benefit.

Start-up, initial production and first cargoStatfjord A comes on stream
Published November 28, 2019   •   Updated December 12, 2019
© Norsk Oljemuseum
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