It was a split linguistic meeting, one part in Scandinavian and the other in English. Based on feedback and that this was a new way to share information we will probably repeat this form of meetings several times.
Lill-Heidi Bakkerud, Deputy leader of IE and Jørn Erik Bøe, National Officer of IE took part in the meeting where the members received an update on what IE had done in the cases concerning quarantine and compensation related to the ongoing pandemic, the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Lill-Heidi informed about the work that recently has taken place behind the scenes to get the parties in the working life to come together to claim equal regulations and not least, reduce the quarantine period. It has been a demanding exercise to get all wishes and requirements fulfilled.
During this process, IE has brought together Norwegian Oil and Gas, Norsk Industri and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and on Thursday night they sent a joint letter to The Minister of Health, Mr Bent Høie, asking for an adapted level of quarantine regulations for our industry. Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbundet) has also signed this letter.
Our claim has always been the re-introduction of the previous exception of 5 days quarantine and 2 negative tests after arriving in Norway. But this time we supported the common joint agreed proposal of the group of 6 days and 2 tests.
Jørn Erik Bøe informed about the collective dispute on compensation which is now being processed by the LO lawyer. In essence, IE's claim is that this entails restrictions on the employee's ability to decide on his or her own leisure time, and that this - in the union's opinion - triggers the right to compensation.
We hope for a quick clarification.
We receive many inquiries on the fact that those who live in Norway may travel offshore without being quarantined, even if they come from areas in Norway that have a more heavy pressure on infection than the pressure at the places where they themselves come from. MAF has a great understanding of this attitude, and we must just say that there is little sense and logic in this. Even though Maersk now is testing all Norwegians as well, and that they must have passed a test that is maximum 48 hours old before going offshore, it is not difficult to understand that words like frustration, unfair and discriminatory will be passed on.
No matter what, it is the individual operator company who ultimately decides how the quarantine regulations beyond the national regulations should be.
This is where our influence stops.