Saipem to pay up for overtime work violation on rig

Italian oilfield services provider Saipem has lost a dispute in Norway and will have to pay compensation to two offshore workers due to the violation of working hours regulations.

Norwegian union, Industri Energi, said on Thursday it has ensured that two ROV pilots in Saipem are compensated a total of over NOK 966,000 (about $113,300) after violating the working hours regulations over the course of two months.

“This shows how important the trade unions are”, said Industri Energi OSA inspector, Wayne Pena.

OSA Inspector Wayne Pena. Photo: Atle Espen Helgesen

Industri Energi received a notification of a breach of working time regulations on board the semi-submersible rig Scarabeo 8 last autumn.

According to the union, the two ROV pilots from Saipem Ltd had been on board the Scarabeo 8 rig for more than 8 weeks and worked uninterrupted 12 hours per day, from 28 September to 25 November.

Industri Energi reported the case to both the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority and the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.

Inspector Pena has previously stated that this was a gross violation of the working hours regulations, completely unacceptable, and that it had to be cleaned up.

Saipem Ltd is a subsidiary of the Saipem Group, which provides the ROV services onboard the rig Scarabeo 8.

In 2017, Saipem Ltd closed down the Norwegian branch and dismissed all its offshore employees.

A few months later, the company continued its operations on the Norwegian shelf, but only with seconded British workers from Saipem Ltd and seconded workers from GPS, which is their staffing company in Switzerland.

Pena said in December 2020 that, after considerable and sustained pressure from Industri Energi, they were able to get the members reinstated.

At the same time, the OSA Inspectorate had an audit at Saipem Ltd’s head office in London. There were significant deviations from the framework and activity regulations, and significant deviations from the oil service agreement.

“This is a direct form of social dumping”, Pena said.

Industri Energi has now completed negotiations with Saipem Ltd and ensured that the two ROV pilots receive compensation of NOK 483,465 (about $56,710) each.

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