Dispute resolved

March 18, 1999, 09:00 CET

Efforts to remove four mechanics from the Statfjord field have been dropped by Statoil.

This follows an agreement to initiate a process of reconciliation which will cover all the parties to a dispute which began last summer.

That was when the group sought to move the four mechanics from Statfjord B in the North Sea to other platforms because it claimed to have evidence that they had used an electronic mailbox which was barred to them.

This mailbox contained personal details. An activity log from the computer system was the basis for Statoil's decision.

Norway's Data Protection Agency has since criticised the group for using the activity log in this connection, since it breaches the Norwegian Data Protection Act.

"We now hope everyone concerned will help to ensure that the reconciliation process can be implemented smoothly," says Statfjord operations vice president Kåre Røsandhaug.

"Those involved must be allowed to work on this without disruption."

Where each of the mechanics will work in future is to be clarified as part of the reconciliation process.

"I'm glad we've now reached a solution," says Arne Strand, an officer of the Statoil Workers' Union (SAF). This body belongs in turn to the Confederation of Professional Unions (YS).

"It's now important that nobody does anything which could disrupt the reconciliation effort. Our union will help to ensure that."

Statoil and the SAF/YS have agreed to appoint a group which will draw lessons to be learnt for the group's organisation from this incident.