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    Transocean quits OMSA over boycott

    News // September 21, 2001
    The International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) reports that the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) is facing a major split because member company Transocean Sedco Forex has walked out over a recent OMSAthreat to boycott the whole of Norway.

    The ICEM newsletter reports that, in a letter to OMSA President Robert Alario, Transocean's Vice-President Eric B Brown demanded the immediate removal of its subsidiary Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc from the association's membership rolls.

    OMSA is a grouping of US companies that contract out shipping and other services to the offshore oil and gas industry. Last month, OMSA President Robert Alario wrote to Gerd Liv Valla, President of the Norwegian trade union confederation.

    Alario took issue with a plan by Norwegian oil union NOPEF to boycott offshore operator Trico Supply ASA unless Trico's parent company in the US gave an assurance that it would respect American workers' right to organise and to bargain collectively.

    US-based Trico Marine Services is an OMSA member.

    The campaign scored a first breakthrough last month when Trico promised NOPEF that it would send all its American employees a letter giving the names and addresses of relevant trade unions.

    NOPEF has called this "a step in the right direction."

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