Norwegian strike raises crude prices : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

London, May 3 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose more than 2
percent after a labor strike disrupted shipments from Norway, the
world's second-largest oil-exporting country.

Norsk Hydro ASA and Statoil AS, Norway's two largest oil
companies, said shipments of more than 1 million barrels daily --
or 1.3 percent of world demand -- were halted as tugboat skippers
joined the country's biggest strike since the 1980s.


-- spider (, May 03, 2000


Biggest Labor Strike in More Than a Decade

OSLO, Norway (AP) - Tens of thousands of
Norwegians went on strike Wednesday in the
biggest labor conflict to hit this small,
wealthy Scandinavian nation in 14 years.

Some grocery stores already were low on
products because Norwegians started hoarding
last weekend despite assurances that there
would not be food shortages.

"The have been reports of scuffles and scraps
between customers over food,"

Tampa Bay Online

-- spider (, May 03, 2000.

WIRE:05/04/2000 11:41:00 ET Norwegian strike expected to expand, crippling nation

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ Norway's largest labor union said today it will step up a nationwide strike that already is the largest to hit this small country in 14 years and which threatened to force layoffs elsewhere in Europe. The union said that next week, 10,000 more workers will join the 84,600 who walked out Wednesday.

"The LO will build up a conflict that is so big that the employers have to come to the table," said Yngve Haagensen, leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, usually called by its acronym, LO.

The strike by private sector workers began Wednesday, five days after the union's rank and file overwhelmingly rejected a new contract offer. The offer, which had been endorsed by the union leadership, included wage increases of 3.5 to 4 percent and a fifth week of paid vacation starting in 2002.

The more than 800,000-member LO, which is an umbrella organization for 27 other unions, has not made specific new demands.

"We are looking for an offer from the other side that is better than the one that was rejected," Haagensen said.

The strike so far has hit land transport, passenger ferries, 86 hotels, many newspapers, the construction industry, and some services, such as private security companies. The national employers association said 2,000 businesses had been affected in the biggest labor conflict since a 1986 strike and lockout that idled more than 100,000 workers.

So far, the LO has allowed Norway's 3.2 million barrel-per-day oil production to continue. This Scandinavian nation of 4.5 million is the world's second-largest oil exporter.

But the conflict sent a shudder through the European car industry. A shortage of parts from Norway could halt production elsewhere.

"If the strike lasts long, it could stop car production lines, which would then mean layoffs by their subcontractors as well," said Leif Bronken, spokesman for Raufoss A/S. The company makes parts such as bumpers and suspension units for Saab, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volvo and Iveco.

News reports predicted that an expanded strike might target air travel, public transit, and the state liquor monopoly, the only legal outlet for wines and spirits in Norway.

Norwegians began hoarding food last week, when the strike was announced. Even though stores, the union and the government assured consumers that Norwegians would not go hungry, there were some scuffles over food. Little other unrest was reported

-- Martin Thompson (, May 04, 2000.

WIRE:05/05/2000 12:59:00 ET UPDATE 2-Norway strike to be biggest since WW2 OSLO (Reuters) - A three-day-old Norwegian strike will be expanded next week to become the country's biggest since World War II, union leaders said Friday. The main employers' group said the widened strike would cost Norwegian firms 400 million crowns ($44 million) a day and that German car maker BMW AG said its own output could be hit by a lack of parts from Norwegian suppliers.

"From Tuesday there will be a total of 102,119 workers on strike. Today the figure is just over 86,000," Yngve Haagensen, head of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, told a news conference.

He said that a revised count showed that a planned expansion of the action from Tuesday would involve about 16,000 additional workers rather than 10,000 as first announced Thursday. None of the new strikers is in the key oil and gas sector.

"This will make it the biggest labor conflict in Norway since World War II," Haagensen said. Since it started on Wednesday, the strike has hit oil and gas exports, closed scores of hotels, stopped ferries and halted publication of newspapers.

He said he believed the last time Norway had a larger conflict was a general strike in 1931. The current strike would fractionally exceed a lock-out by employers affecting 102,000 workers in 1986. Norway's population totals 4.5 million.

Both unions and employers said they had no contact since the strike started and after unions rejected a 2000 pay deal worth 3.5 to 4.0 percent, including a promise of a fifth week of vacation from 2002.

"We think it's natural that those who have said 'no' to an agreement say what's wrong with it," Finn Bergesen, head of the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO), told a news conference. Haagensen said NHO should make a new offer.


Bergesen said BMW sent a letter to the Industry Ministry warning it would reconsider contracts with Norway unless it got fresh supplies by Monday from car parts makers Raufoss and Norsk Hydro.

Bergesen said the letter was a sign the strike was threatening jobs in Norway. He added: "From next week BMW's own production could stop because of the strike in Norway."

State oil company Statoil said the strikes could start shutting oil and gas fields from the end of next week, partly because of disruptions at export terminals. Norsk Hydro said some of its output could be halted from May 10.

"We know that it will cause problems over time in the North Sea," Haagensen said. "We call a strike to cause problems."

Norway pumps about 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and is the world's biggest exporter after Saudi Arabia. Oil is the backbone of the economy and in the past governments have ordered workers back to their jobs when production stops.

Forestry firm Norske Skog said all its output of paper and pulp in Norway would stop Tuesday when the strike hits its factories.

And a strike by 150 cabin employees in charter airline Premiair from Friday, in a separate dispute over pay and conditions, added to disruptions. The company brought in other staff to keep flights going.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 05, 2000.

Monday, 8 May, 2000, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK Norwegian strike 'starves' Euro car makers

The nationwide strike in Norway -- now in its sixth day -- has begun to affect car production in Europe.

The Swedish car maker, Saab, has suspended production at one of its plants due to a shortage of parts from Norway and layed off thousands of workers temporarily.

The German firm, BMW, says it might have to do the same if the strike continues.

Trade unions and employers in Norway met today to discuss revised union demands on pay and annual holidays.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

-- Martin Thompson (, May 08, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ