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ICEM Signs New Global Agreement with Norwegian Energy Concern, StatoilHydro

17 November, 2008

On 13 November, ICEM, together with Norwegian affiliate Industri Energi (IE), reached a new Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with StatoilHydro.

The agreement replaces ICEM’s first global agreement with Norway’s state-operated oil and gas producer, Statoil, which was signed in July 1998 in coordination with Norsk Olje og Petrokjemisk Fagforbund (NOPEF), the trade union covering Norway’s oil and gas workers at the time. Subsequently, NOPEF merged with the chemical workers union (NKIF) to create Industri Energi, or IE. And Statoil acquired the oil and gas activities of Norsk Hydro.

The Statoil agreement in 1998 was a landmark global accord for the ICEM. It set the standard for further agreements, covering trade union rights, health, safety and environmental commitments, and providing internal training programmes. The agreement was renewed and improved upon in March 2001; further updated and strengthened in August 2003; and again in June 2005.

IE’s Lars Myhre, ICEM’s Manfred Warda, and Erling Brevik and Aksel Stenerud, from StatoilHydro.

The provisions of the new global agreement are broadly similar to those of the predecessor agreement, however the accord now has a much wider scope. It covers 29,500 StatoilHydro workers in 40 countries.

“Our original agreement with Statoil set a model for international social dialogue that laid firm foundations for other GFAs the ICEM has been able to negotiate,” said ICEM General Secretary Manfred Warda. “From the beginning, the company made a commitment to ensure the agreement was a functioning one.

“I am delighted that this commitment to social dialogue and the agreement itself continues with the new company, and now has been extended to a wide range of workers in many more countries than the original.”

On behalf of StatoilHydro, the agreement was signed by Erling Brevik, Vice President of Industrial Relations. Lars Myhre signed on behalf of IE.

The parties agreed that early in 2009 there will be a meeting to share information and plan in detail how the global agreement will be implemented across the wide-ranging activities of the merged company, and to advance a joint social dialogue course.

StatoilHydro was established on 1 October 2007, and is now the world’s largest oil and gas firm in waters 100 metres deep or more. The company operates 39 oil and gas fields with production averages of over 1.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, and proven reserves of more than 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The company has more than 30 years of experience on the Norwegian continental shelf, pioneering complex offshore projects under rigorous condition.