Industrial strike action by Norwegian offshore workers has entered its second week as the unions allowed the employers to return to negotiations before their meeting today.
Trade unions Industri Energi and SAFE said that there had been no fresh contact with the Norwegian oil industry association (OLF).
Hilde Marit Rysst, SAFE union head, told Reuters: "We thought we would give them more time to contact us before we meet again on Tuesday, because they have said the strike was hurting them so much."
Unions representing about 7,000 offshore workers refrained from escalating the strike to avoid intervention by the government. The unions are demanding wage increases, better overtime pay and the right to retire at 62, which was refused by the OLF.
The OLF said that the unions’ decision not to escalate showed they lacked the stomach to strike.
Leif Sande, Industri Energi leader, was reported as saying the situation was the opposite.
"I think it can be a very long strike, unless employers use a lockout or the government intervenes," said Sande. "We might escalate, but I don’t think we will go as far as stopping all gas production, though it could be affected a little bit more."
Production of oil and natural gas liquids has dropped by 230,000 barrels to 250,000 barrels a day, around 13% of Norway’s total capacity, Statoil said.
The strike began on 24th June, initially shutting down production at the Oseberg and Heidrun fields in the North Sea.