The involvement of our people and their appropriate representatives in our group is vital in relation to meeting the company's business objectives. Through this focus, we ensure that we act as a responsible employer and a social citizen wherever Statoil operates. In Statoil ASA, an estimated 69% of employees are members of a trade union. Work councils and working environment committees are established where required by law or agreement. These bodies are informed about and involved in business plans and perspectives, organisational changes and HSE issues.
Since 2007, Statoil has undergone major organisational changes as a result of the merger between Statoil and Hydro's oil and gas division. In 2009, Statoil finalised the merger by implementing its new operating model on the Norwegian continental shelf, which affected 5000 offshore employees. The unions and the company agreed on the principles for the new collaboration model, which involve simplifying and decentralising the model.
In 2009, one of Statoil's cooperation priorities was to improve relations with European employee representatives. The European Work Council (EWC) consists of employee representatives from nine European countries, mostly from the retail side of the business. The EWC is an arena where Statoil's employees in Europe receive relevant information on a regular basis, and engage in direct dialogue with management on matters concerning the group as a whole. Two conferences were held for this purpose in 2009.
In 2009, Statoil has contributed to the global social dialogue in the oil industry by promoting good employee and industrial relations practises. This includes sending a delegate to the global tripartite meeting for the oil industry organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Statoil is also currently party to an international agreement with the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers Union (ICEM). This agreement supports and facilitates Statoil's ambition to further promote and develop good employee and industrial relations on a broad global basis.