Stena Songa case
Crushing victory for Industri Energi
Stena Drilling and Songa Services are instructed to pay a total of almost four million NOKs to four members of Industri Energi because they were denied continued employment after transfer of undertakings of the drilling rig Stena Dee in March 2009.
Four British members of Industri Energi who were employed on the mobile drilling rig Stena Dee, has been awarded nearly four million NOKs in compensation to be split between themselves, from Stena Drilling AS and Songa Services AS, because their employment was not transferred to Songa Services AS when they took over ownership and operation of the drilling rig from Stena Drilling AS in March 2009. The rig was renamed from Stena Dee to Songa Dee at the time of transfer of undertaking.
On behalf of the four members Industri Energi appealed the ruling of the District Court which was in favor of Stena and Songa to the Court of Appeal. The case was litigated by the Industri Energi lawyers Karianne Rettedal and Eyvind Mossige.
Today the Court of Appeal has given the trade union Industri Energi full support in the fact that the employees had the right to continue their employment on the rig on their same terms and conditions.
The Court of Appeal concludes that the dismissals from Stena Drilling AS is unfair as the transfer of undertaking to another employer in itself is not any reason for dismissal. The court finds that the four were to be regarded as permanently employed in the Stena Drilling, and thus had the right to be transferred within the transfer of undertakings.
The majority of the court finds for the four, because they had to leave the Songa Dee in March 2009 without an offer to continue in the Songa Group. This is to be regarded as unfair exclusion from their work. The court also states that employees had suffered loss of income in the period to be compensated. This is distributed as follows:
Stena Drilling AS and Songa Services AS are instructed to pay damages to the four respectively NOK 1.446.786, 704 932, 1.175.481 and 452 251. The two companies are also imposed to pay the costs for both the District Court and the Court of Appeal.
Industri Energi lawyer Eyvind Mossige is very pleased with the outcome.
- We have received full support for what we have argued from the very beginning, namely that this was a transfer of undertaking and that these four who appealed the verdict of the District Court should have been transferred. They get compensation and all four are now transferred from Stena to Songa, he says.
Mossige will not predict the prospects for whether the opposite party appeals the verdict further or not.
- I doubt that the Supreme Court will accept such an appeal. If the case is appealed, I would strongly point out that nothing of the matter is of such a special nature that makes it required or necessary to be treated by the Supreme Court, says Mossige.
Preserved identity and customers
The Court of Appeal emphasizes that it is an independent economic entity which is transferred and it retains its identity after the transfer In March 2009. All equipment and assets are transferred. A large majority of employees are transferred. Operations continued unchanged on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and serving the same group of customers as before the transfer.
Independent economic entity
The Borgarting Court of Appeal writes straight forward that the verdict of the District Court has evaluated the evidence wrong when it concluded that there was not transferred an independent economic entity. Borgarting also notes that the appellants are entitled to remain in position until the question of the existence of a transfer of undertaking is legally settled; this will also be the basis for payments of compensation.
PPublisert av: Martin Steen | Sist oppdatert: 01.11.2011 kl 14:47 | Opprettet: 01.11.20114:47 | Opprettet:
Publisert av: Arild Theimann | Sist oppdatert: 09.11.2011 kl 12:50 | Opprettet: 09.11.2011