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OSLO, July 10 Norway's government intervened to
stop a strike of offshore workers and a planned lockout to
prevent a total shutdown of oil and gas production, the labour
minister said, just after a midnight deadline.
"I had to make this decision to protect Norway's vital
interests. It wasn't an easy choice, but I had to do it,"
Labour Minister Hanne Bjurstroem told Reuters after meeting with
the trade unions and the Norwegian oil industry association
Leif Sande, the leader of the largest labour union Industri
Energi, representing more than half of 7,000 offshore workers,
said workers would return to work immediately.
"It's very sad. The strike is over," he told journalists.
(Reporting by Vegard Botterli)