38 illegally hired-in workers receive permanent employment in Stena Drilling

14.10.2014 13:56:00

Persistent trade union efforts secured 38 foreign hired-in workers Norwegian employment contracts and permanent employment on the Stena Don rig, which is run by the Norwegian company Stena Drilling Norway. ”It’s been a long and winding road,” says Wayne Pena, Leader of the Industri Energi local branch in Stena.

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Bilde mangler
Many years of struggle to get 38 hired-in workers permanently employed by Stena Drilling Norway finally succeeded. Starting 1st October, they will be given permanent employment with the same employment conditions as the Norwegian and British employees on the drilling rig Stena Don.

These hired-in workers, most of whom are Swedish, have been contracted out by the Swedish crewing agency SMBF Service AB.

13-year battle for justice
Wayne Pena worked for 13 years to secure the 38 illegally hired-in workers with permanent employment in Stena. Photo: Arild TheimannWayne Pena, local union leader of Industri Energi in Stena, SDEA, has worked on this issue to get them permanently employed since 2001. The principal part of the case was relating to the illegal hiring-in of this group of employees. National officer Øyvind Hopland and legal counsel Alexander Lindbøe joined the case from 2013.

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 Industri Energi branch, SDEA, has used extensive resources just to ensure that SMBF Service AB followed the rules. It has at times been a time-consuming job, a bit like chasing ghosts, says Pena.

Illegal hiring-in
The case has been particularly difficult as none of these sub-contracted employees were members of Industri Energi.

In 2013, changes to the Working Environment Act and further changes in the agreement with the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) enabled us to finally pursue a legal resolution to the case. Our local branch declared that the hiring-in situation was illegal, which led to marathon negotiations with Stena Drilling to achieve permanent employment for these sub-contracted employees, says Pena.

Total victory
We agreed on a common strategy regarding the legal, factual and tactical aspects of the case. We have succeeded 100 per cent. Together with the local union and National officer Øyvind Hopland, we have won our demand for permanent employment for these employees. Starting 1st October, they will be formally employed by Stena Drilling Norway,” says Alexander Lindboe, legal counsel for Industri Energi.

I would particularly like to give credit to the shop steward 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 these workers, thanks also to Stena Drilling and their lawyers in the professional way they handled the case. They worked very hard to find a solution out-of-court and we and the local branch headed by Wayne Pena are appreciative of that,” says Lindboe.