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Based on the Norwegian case I need a memo/ report on the ILO and Norwegian experience. Specifically, explaining how the workings of modern labor law led to defending the labor relations record from our operations off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico coast to a court almost half way around the world in the town of Volda, Norway. Please explain what happened.

Also address what actions, if any, should be recommended to prevent the second incurrence of costs and publicity like this again. Should we just hunker down and hope something like this never happens again? Is there something we should do to get out in front of this? Should we somehow show the world we take national and international labor standards seriously? Should we adopt some kind of code of conduct? If so, what should it say? Or would we live to regret that? Are there other things you'd suggest that I haven't touched on? Thank you very much for your help


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Some Ideas on the Trico Case

Trico Marine, formerly based in Louisiana, had rejected any attempt by its workers to unionize on their Gulf Coast rigs in 2000. Trico Marine refused to permit organizations of any kind. It, in fact, removed all workers who were demanding to organize. It used violence against organizers and hired policemen off-duty as private security. Fights broke out as private security clashed with union organizers in 2000-2001 (Compa and Feinstein, 2012).

It filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010, and was liquidated in 2011. Yet, as late as 2009, Trico had won over $50 million in contracts worldwide. The Labor Relations Board had held that Trico had not violated any law in their refusal to permit a union. The Trico affiliate in Norway was unionized, but because of the American situation, workers there would not work for the company until the US situation was stabilized. Trico threatened an injunction against the workers, and the Oil union filed suit. Because the Norwegian part of Trico was the most profitable part of the firm, any boycott could destroy the company.

While the US had not signed onto the ILO Declaration on best labor practices, the law of this treaty was not binding on US firms. Yet, the question was whether it was binding on US firms in Norway. Trico's defense was that it was beholden only to American labor laws that did not recognize the ILO. Hence, the Norwegian sympathy (called "secondary") boycott was illegal.

The trial in Norway did not occur. This is because of Trico, before it began, agreed to respect organization rights for its Gulf Coast workers in 2002. The boycott eventually included ten international unions. Part of the problem was that wages remained very low and many of the Gulf workers for Trico were unskilled. ...

Solution Summary

The following posting helps with problems involving labor standards and codes of conduct.