COMMENTARY: Statoil unions’ lament about the company axing free cups of coffee just boils down to an upset over soured milk.
The Norwegian energy giant is on a money-saving push. Over NOK 30bn is to be saved towards 2016 (about USD 4.98bn/EUR 3.62bn/GBP 2.98bn), NOK 8bn a year thereafter (roughly USD 1.32bn/EUR 965.87m/GBP 795.68m).
This means offshore-bound employees in one of Norway’s largest companies may now have to start paying for their hot beverages at heliports.
Unions are upset. Whinging officials clamour that they are unwilling to ‘subsidise’ the company’s NOK 3.3m coffee-cutting (last year’s figure, according to Industri Energi) out of their own pocket petty cash till.
The union call Statoil’s heliport move “unbelievably petty”.
Elected representatives are rankled by that executive management will be keeping their non-chargeable hot beverages perk.
Employees often have to sit waiting to depart for up to an hour unpaid, as working time only begins on arrival at the platform, they say.
Union officials add that they are willing to dig in to help Statoil in their over NOK 30bn cuts processes, but the krone stops here.
The company has already announced the outsourcing and foreign relocation of several hundred jobs.
At the same time, free cups of coffee will still be available at the Statoil’s offices (in paper cups), and company communications staff also says they have not made a final decision about the heliport hot drinks.
They comment they are “turning every stone” in their hunt for savings - hydrocarbons apart.
Meanwhile, Stavanger’s prices are high. While some oil industry personnel insist on bread, butter, and jam, key life people such as nurses and teachers cannot afford to live here on their salaries.
Oil gravy train passengers are good at stirring, but make poor coffee stirrers; especially if you are a healthy union official.