Norwegian Oil Worker Unions Pull Out of Offshore Platform Safety Group

From UPI

Unions representing Norwegian offshore oil rig workers have pulled out of an industry-sponsored group amid harsh criticism of cutbacks in safety training.

The four unions — Fellesforbundet, Industri Energi, Lederne and SAFE — announced Friday they have suspended their membership in the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association’s Network for Safety and Emergency Response Training, NSOB, which was established in the wake of the 1980 Alexander Kielland platform disaster in which 123 people died.

The unions said they made the move reluctantly but were forced to make a statement after the industry group unilaterally instituted “a number of changes that impair safety and emergency training on the Norwegian continental shelf” despite vociferous objections of workers.

The industry group, however, said the changes are being made to make safety training better and more efficient.

“It was not an easy decision, but we cannot sit still and watch the employers of Norwegian Oil and Gas ignore the employees’ objections in such an important area,” Fellesforbundet Secretary Mohammed Afzal said in a statement.

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