Offshore Alliance members at Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone Downstream gas processing facilities in north west Western Australia have resoundingly rejected an Enterprise Agreement (EA) not endorsed by their negotiating team.
The Enterprise Agreement was rejected by 100% of workers at the two facilities*.
This result is in stark contrast to the results of a ballot on Monday where 100% voted to endorse protected industrial action (PIA) at Chevron’s Wheatstone Platform, joining Offshore Alliance members at Gorgon and Wheatstone Downstream in endorsing PIA.
The Offshore Alliance notified Chevron on behalf of members on Monday members would begin PIA at all three facilities on September the 7th. The PIA includes twenty types of industrial action, including numerous work bans all the way up to complete stoppages of work.
This legal PIA is sanctioned by Australia’s Fair Work Commission.
With no meeting scheduled between the Offshore Alliance and Chevron the oil and gas giant, headquartered in California, has applied to the Fair Work Commission to seek assistance in dealing with the dispute.
Offshore Alliance members have been consistently disappointed with the company’s approach to negotiations with the American petrochemical company refusing to accept an industry standard agreement should apply to their workforce.
Many companies across the Western Australian gasfields have successfully negotiated EAs with the Offshore Alliance to cover their workers in the last few years.
Offshore Alliance members at Shell’s LNG facilities secured an EA last year after 76 days of PIA. Members at INPEX secured an EA in 2022. And last week Offshore Alliance member representatives at Woodside endorsed an in-principle agreement negotiated with the company, with a vote on the EA to follow in the coming weeks.
This leaves Chevron as the only major outfit on the WA gasfields without an industry standard EA covering its workforce.
Offshore Alliance Members working for the foreign company have still not reached agreement on several key claims including job security, agreed rosters, mutual agreement on transfers to other Chevron worksites, mutual agreement on the working of overcycle, training standards, travel arrangements and rates of pay.
Members are seeking remuneration outcomes which align with benchmark industry standards that apply to Chevron’s contemporaries Shell and INPEX and are soon to apply to Woodside. In negotiations to date Chevron has proposed remuneration terms lower than some Tier 2 oil and gas operators in Australian waters.
The Offshore Alliance is an alliance between The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).
The Offshore Alliance spokesperson, AWU WA Secretary Brad Gandy says it’s time to to put this matter to bed
“We were disappointed to see Shell engage in an ideological battle with the union last year and as a result losing up to $1.5 billion in lost production during 76 days of industrial action because we knew achieving a resolution would be so easy,” says Mr Gandy.
“We strongly advise Chevron to meet with our members and iron out each point of contention one by one.
“Our members at Chevron quite reasonably just want terms and conditions of employment that meet the industry standard, some say over rosters to ensure they’re family friendly, and job security so they can’t be replaced by temporary labour hire employees.
“They also want to reach agreement on other matters relating to overcycle, training standards, rates of pay, and travel arrangements.
“After this humiliating result at the ballot box with proposed enterprise agreements that Chevron touted as a potential solution to the ongoing dispute, Chevron’s only real option is to change tack and take our members’ claims seriously," says Mr Gandy.
Contact: Tim Brunero 0405 285 547