38 illegally contracted employees receive permanent jobs in Stena Drilling

19.09.2014 11:23:00

Persistent trade union efforts secured 38 foreign temps Norwegian employment contracts and permanent employment on the Stena Don rig, which is owned by the Norwegian company Stena Drilling Norway. - It’s been a long and winding road, says Wayne Pena, head of Industry Energy's local branch in Stena.

For mer informasjon

Bilde mangler

Many years of struggle to get 38 temporary workers permanently employed by Stena Drilling Norway finally succeeded. Starting 1 October, they will be given permanent jobs with the same working conditions as the Norwegian and British workers on the Stena Don rig.

The temps, most of whom are Swedish, have been contracted out by the Swedish crewing agency SMBF Service.

13-year struggle for justice
Wayne Pena, head of Industry Energy’s local union in Stena, SDEA, has worked on this issue since 2001. He was joined by union secretary Øyvind Hopland and Industri Energi counsel Alexander Lindboe in 2013.

Foto: Arild Theimann-Thirteen years ago we demanded a wage agreement for the crew of the Stena Don that would also apply to foreign workers. In 2008, the company changed the working conditions and during the negotiations that year we had to negotiate a new collective agreement with Stena Drilling Norway once again. The local Industry Energy branch SDEA has spent enormous resources just to ensure that SMBF AB followed the rules. It has at times been a time-consuming job, a bit like chasing ghosts, says Pena.

Illegal contracting
The case has been particularly difficult because none of the the temps were allowed to be members of Industry Energy. This meant that employment in the Norwegian company was almost impossible.

- In 2013, changes to the Working Environment Act and further changes in the agreement with the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) agreement enabled us to finally pursue legal resolution of the matter. Our local branch declared that the temp situation was illegal, which led to marathon negotiations with Stena Drilling to achieve equal pay and working conditions for the contracted temps, says Pena.

Total victory
 - We agreed on a common strategy regarding the legal, factual and tactical aspects of the matter. We have succeeded 100 per cent. Together with the local union and union secretary Øyvind Hopland, we have won our demand for permanent employment and Norwegian wage and working conditions for the 38 temps. Starting 1 October, they will be formally employed by Stena Drilling Norway, says Alexander Lindboe, counsel for Industry Energy.

 - I would particularly like to give credit to union representative Wayne Pena, who has done a fantastic job in this case. He has devoted countless hours to getting the agreements in place and his efforts have been exemplary.

 - We had a good case that ended in complete victory and permanent employment for temps, thanks in large measure to the professional handling by Stena Drilling and their lawyers. They worked very hard to find an out-of-court resolution of the case and we and the local branch headed by Wayne Pena are appreciative of that, says Lindboe.