This staff committee was to be a place where employees and management could meet to discuss the company’s activities and development, human resources policy and organisational practice. Its main purpose was to promote better dialogue and to deal with dissatisfaction before it had a chance to develop.
The committee was also part of preparations for establishing a corporate assembly, since it was known that legislation on such a body was in the offing. The first meeting of the staff committee was held on 15 June 1976, with Isoard himself in attendance together with administration superintendent Tor Kaada and five employee representatives.
Much was achieved by the committee during its brief life, including the creation of a company nursery and efforts to improve the company medical service, enhance information for employees about the business, strengthen the union system and facilitate employment for women offshore. Its problem lay precisely in being a committee rather than a membership organisation. It was also perceived as being under excessive management control, and lacking an independent mandate. All issues had to be submitted in good time before the meeting to management, which could choose how and what it would respond to.
The committee did not last long. A new Norwegian Companies Act in 1977 required every company with more than 200 companies to form a corporate assembly. Elf did so on 1 October of that year. Combined with the creation of a working environment committee, this led to the dissolution of the staff committee.
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