Date: Sun, 4 Oct 98 20:04:59 CDT
From: (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: NORWAY: ICEM Critsizes Statoil for Ties to Unionbuster
Article: 44519
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <>

/** headlines: 128.0 **/
** Topic: NORWAY: ICEM Critsizes Statoil for Ties to Unionbuster **
** Written 3:50 PM Oct 2, 1998 by labornet in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 5:21 AM Oct 1, 1998 by in labr.newsline */
/* ---------- STATOIL-CROWN DEAL SLAMMED ---------- */

Statoil slammed for link to U.S. union-buster

International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions, ICEM Update, No. 79/1998, 28 September 1998

Norwegian oilworkers' leader Lars Myhre has strongly criticised energy multinational Statoil for its links with America's anti-union Crown Central Petroleum.

Crown, which has kept 252 unionised American workers locked out for 32 months, recently signed a contract to refine Statoil's North Sea crude for the American market.

Myhre is President of the Norwegian oil and petrochemical workers' union NOPEF and chairs the energy workers' section of the 20-million-strong International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM).

Statoil is headquartered in Norway. As Myhre emphasised, Statoil has excellent labour relations in Norway and worldwide.

This July, Statoil, the ICEM and NOPEF signed the oil industry's first globally applicable company-union agreement. Amongst other things, this guarantees full union rights worldwide (see ICEM UPDATE 66/1998). However, it applies only to those employed in Statoil's own operations.

Speaking in the USA yesterday, Myhre insisted that Statoil products should not be tainted by its association with Crown.

The US firm's use of scab labour after locking out 252 union workers for 32 months should have disqualified Crown from having any relationship with Statoil, Myhre said. In addition, Crown's appalling environmental record and serious charges made by wor kers for race and sex discrimination should have stopped Statoil from signing this contract.

Myhre's statement was warmly welcomed by the ICEM-affiliated US oilworkers' union OCAW, whose members are locked out at Crown.

We believe that Statoil, by its contract with Crown, is making itself part of the labour dispute, and we are ready to extend our campaign and boycott against Crown to Statoil as well, said OCAW President Robert Wages. Being partnered with a corporate o utlaw like Crown is very damaging to Statoil's reputation.

We applaud the statements and efforts of Lars Myhre, Wages said, and we hope that Statoil will either pull out of its contract with Crown or use its influence to make Crown accountable for its actions against workers, women and people of colour.

According to an OCAW statement, Crown's contract with Statoil is aimed at stopping the US refiner's continued losses due to its disastrous policy of purchasing crude oil in the futures market and guessing wrong about crude prices.

Crown reported losses in the first two quarters of this year, the OCAW notes. Other so-called independent refiners, to whom Crown is often compared, reported strong profits in the same period. Crown's Class A and Class B stock prices have hovered at 30-year lows in recent weeks.