It's now around three years and nine months ago since the first of our members had to sit in quarantine without being compensated, but finally the cases are coming to court.
We regret that it should take so long time, but these are difficult cases that have not been tried in the legal systems before.
At the same time, the company has been unwavering in our many attempts to make a local agreement on quarantine imposed by the authorities, but no other local clubs clearly did not get any local agreement for compensation either.
We also tried to get a text about quarantine into the collective agreement at the main salary negotiations in 2022, but we were the only ones who brought this case into the negotiations.
We voted to go on strike for the matter, but we did not get a majority. This vote only took place between the IE clubs in the very last minutes of the negotiations.
At the same time, the LO lawyers had assessed the case for a very long time, and when in September 2022 they finally came up with the answer that we had all been waiting for, we at NAF were in no way satisfied at all. The LO lawyers found the case of quarantine imposed by the authorities to be "difficult to win."
NAF therefore called Industri Energi to a crisis meeting, and this meeting was the start of what we see now. This meeting became the reason for why Industri Energi is now taking the case to court on behalf of all their members, who have sent their individual claims to the different companies where they are employed.
This applies to 139 NAF members and a total of 678 IE members, from a total of 46 different companies. The total financial claims are just under NOK. 500 million.
This has become a very extensive case and Industri Energi states that since October 2022, around 25 employees in legal, organization, IT, working life and communication have worked on the cases.
NAF will be present in the court on 20 November when the pilot case starts. This will be against the rig company Transocean. Industri Energi had its reasons for choosing Transocean, and we point out that it makes no difference to our members.
Of course, we cannot say in advance what the outcome will be, but Karianne Rettedal, head of the legal department at Industri Energi, has previously stated that they are ready to go all the way.
NAF has a great confidence that the case is in the best hands, and we really hope that a legal verdict will finally come, that will bring justice for all our members who have spent their precious free time in quarantine for an unreasonable amount of time.
We must of course also be prepared for that a judgment can be appealed to the higher courts.
We have seen no signs that any other Union or local clubs have been ready to go to trial on this, so we do not believe that the case would have reached the legal system at all, without the meetings we held with Industri Energi in 2022. This is justified also with the fact that (on that time) there were only approximately 5 months until the first quarantine cases would begin to expire on the time limit.
One thing we were very clear about, if Industri Energi had not decided to pursue the case, then we in NAF would have done it ourselves, with the funds we would be able to procure for the purpose, we owed that to our members.
But Industri Energi agreed in that the case should be pursued, regardless of whether LO found it difficult. They understood the situation and chose to put themselves at the head of all this.
We are now hoping for the best and will update as soon as we receive news on the matter.