A union for land-based workers had become more and more necessary as the company expanded. The founding general meeting of the EAN staff association (EAN.P) was held on 9 January 1980. It was intended to be independent of political parties, and accordingly remained unaffiliated to any of Norway’s national union federations. The goal was to secure negotiating rights with Elf.
EAN.P was invited to collaborate with the Norwegian Oil and Petrochemical Workers Union (Nopef), part of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). The staff association’s officials saw that it ought to join a nationwide federation. Their first choice was the Federation of Offshore Workers Trade Unions (OFS), but this was not interested in organising land-based personnel.
Such employees generally earned less than offshore workers, and the OFS believed that including them would act as a constraint on its efforts to secure the pay demands of employees on the fields. EAN.P accordingly contacted Nopef, and changed its name by a ballot of members to Nopef branch 9.Drifting barge heads for FriggNew premises and industry