To strike or not to strike

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As commuters in the south of England are paralysed by a 5-day strike of train drivers, this article in Downstream Today discusses the different approaches to strike action between Europe (well Norway) and the US.

The first half of 2016 was riddled with numerous threats of strikes by oil and gas workers across the world and many made good on their threats.

Of course as Oil and Gas prices fall, companies have to make savings including redundancies as well as pay cuts.

Many of the member companies in the Norwegian Oil and Gas [Association] (NOG) are experiencing demanding times, and are in the middle of a restructuring process with extensive downsizing … We believe that both the employers and employees are very much aware of the current situation and that both parties wanted to avert strike actions this summer

However, employment law varies widely across the World;

But in North America, particularly the United States, workers aren’t afforded the same protections and the threat of a strike doesn’t hold the same weight.

Ultimately though it’s a symptom of the industry we are in – partly controlled by political interests, partly influenced by market-makers and financiers and partly influenced by cartels such as OPEC

Oil and gas workers are paid well in times of an industry boom, which is part compensation for the risk that they may be laid off if oil prices drop.

While this sentiment may be true, it doesn’t make it any easier to absorb a 33% cut in salary as I’ve experience over the past 18 months – although a 33% cut is far better than a 100% cut!