Job safety or uncertainty for our members?

tirsdag 10. mars 2015

Prosafe 5-year contract with Statoil for “Safe Scandinavia” as a support vessel on Oseberg East.

Our members are starting to ask does this new contract with Statoil represent future security for them or not, Prosafe have signed a long term contract, five years if all options are taken, you would think this would represent job security for our members, says Fraser Knox, Industri Energi National officer.

However that could not be further from the truth, with the upcoming yard stay the company are going to reduce the required manning onboard by 50% they originally wished to have an equal time rotation implemented, when that was refused they have stated they do not require any workforce as the rig will be completely under Westcon control in Ølen.

The original plan included Prosafe maintenance for the yard. That plan also showed thirty nine persons for their equal time proposal which has been increased to forty one then up to forty five. For a true representation from 3/3 to 2/4 it should have been fifty four persons.

When a vessel enters the yard for such stays it is normal that more personnel are required not less, as there is always additional work to be carried out onboard that often cannot take place at sea, Prosafe are stating that is not the case there will be no maintenance only the project work being undertaken by Westcon says Knox.

This is all simply cost cutting exercises from a company that is still recording profits and in their own statement have been cash rich these last few years. Yet all of a sudden the rig crew is non-essential with no guarantee of return to work on the vessel.

Of course if the crew is not required for the yard the company is allowed to look at options to avoid lay-offs and the company can utilize the crew elsewhere, which is an option rather than laying crews off.

All that has been asked from the company is an agreement on when the crew will not be required onboard, what work they will undertake elsewhere, will it be full time or what percentage of work will they undertake, all valid questions to see if there is any possible lay off claim they are entitled to and when the expected return date to the vessel will be. They are refusing to enter into any agreement.

Stating for operational reasons they will transfer the persons back to international contracts to cover posts on other vessels.

They are looking to avoid the consequences of the reduction by claiming the persons are being moved for operational requirements with no willing ness to confirm if there will be any return to the vessel. That then means they are ending their Norwegian terms and conditions and the company should give the crew notice from their Norwegian terms. They cannot just pick and choose when they wish to follow the Norwegian tariff or applicable laws.

Further the question has to be asked of Prosafe Chief Executive officer Karl Ronny Klungtvedt if he truly believes his company fully stands by their own code of conduct principles that carries his signature, says Fraser Knox, Industri Energi National officer.

Within the companies code of conduct it states it is the framework that they work within that they will according to the company’s own code, Follow applicable laws, believes in fair competition in the market and has a pretty stringent discrimination policy, within their own policy it further states if applicable laws are more stringent where they work these shall be complied with.

“Legal compliance In its business activities, Prosafe will comply with applicable laws and regulations and act in an ethical and socially responsible manner “

“Fair competition, Prosafe is committed to fair and open competition in markets around the world.”

“Prosafe does not accept any form of discrimination on the basis of gender, religion or belief, race,

national or ethnic origin, cultural background, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity,

disability, sexual orientation, age or political opinion.” (direct from Prosafe`s Code of Conduct)

The company is looking to claim their international terms take precedent over the agreed Norwegian terms in place. Which clearly is against Prosafe’s own code of conduct policy.

The question has to be asked is this ethical or socially responsible to remove said persons with no guarantee of return it is definitely against Norwegian laws and the tariff which the company agree to comply with. Is it simply the company is more interested in the profit margin they can gain.

This is also against the normal practice for other companies operating on the shelf says Knox, we have other companies that in the past when work has stopped on the shelf have to follow the tariff and have dismissed their workforce as required from their Norwegian terms before beginning back on their international contracts.

This clearly gives them an unfair advantage over other competing companies on the Norwegian shelf.

When tendering for contracts if they do not have to factor in these costs says Knox.

There are some other foreign companies operating with these additional contracts on the Norwegian shelf at present and we see this as them looking at ways to flout the Norwegian regulations by always trying to revert to international terms these companies are members of the Norwegian ship owners, we also feel possibly NSA should be looking at their members as they should be ensuring there is no unfair advantage being gained by these companies against other competitors.