The Norwegian oil and gas operator DNO ASA versus the trade union Industri Energi
Lead NCPNorway
Supporting NCP(s)
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the Norwegian trade union Industri Energi on behalf of the Yemeni trade union DNO Yemen Union regarding the activities of the Norwegian oil company Det norske oljeselskapet (DNO ASA)
Theme(s)Employment and industrial relations, Concepts and principles
Date8 Nov 2016
Host country(ies)Yemen
SourceTrade Union
Industry sectorConstruction

Read the final statement by the Norwegian NCP - 9 April 2018

Read the initial assessment issued by the Norwegian NCP - 2 May 2017

On 8 November 2016, the Norwegian trade union Industri Energi filed a complaint against the Norwegian company DNO ASA (hereinafter referred to as ‘DNO’) under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Guidelines’). On 7 April 2017, the Norwegian National Contact Point (NCP) decided to accept the complaint for consideration. On 10 May 2017, the parties accepted the offer of mediation, which took place over four days during the period 17 August to 16 October 2017. The mediation was unsuccessful and was concluded on 16 October 2017. The parties have subsequently submitted their final comments.

The complaint from Industri Energi was submitted on behalf of the Yemeni trade union DNO Yemen Union. The key issue in the complaint concerned lack of notification and consultation between DNO and the employee representatives in Yemen in connection with collective dismissals and suspension of production in the war-like situation that prevailed in 2015. It is claimed that the Yemeni trade union wanted to engage in dialogue with DNO’s representatives in Yemen on the dismissals and suspension of production, without this request being granted. The complaint also concerned the question of whether DNO obstructed the workers’ right to organise and collective bargaining in Yemen, and the validity of dismissals as part of the downsizing process.

DNO argues that the key issue in the complaint is the question concerning the validity of the dismissals as part of the downsizing process in Yemen. This issue was the subject of a dispute case in the country. DNO claims that the aim of the complaint is to contest the lawfulness of the downsizing in Yemen in 2015 and that the ongoing court case before Yemeni courts meant that the matter should not have been considered by the Norwegian NCP. Furthermore, DNO claims that the state of emergency in Yemen meant that the company could refrain from notifying and consulting the employee representatives in connection with the dismissals.

Since the mediation was concluded without results, the NCP has considered the complaint and arrived at the following conclusion: DNO has not complied with paragraphs 6 and 8 in Chapter V of the Guidelines on notification and consultation in connection with changes in the enterprise’s operations. DNO has fulfilled the expectations on the right to join a trade union in paragraphs 1a) and 1b) of Chapter V. The NCP recommends that DNO in future should carry out risk-based due diligence and enhance the transparency of its guidelines and procedures for responsible business conduct.