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Industrial Relations, Oil Mining Resources

Offshore Alliance members to begin 24 one-hour stoppages each day for a fortnight starting next week

MEU 2 mins read

Offshore Alliance members at Chevron’s Gorgon Facility, Wheatstone Platform and Wheatstone Downstream gas processing facilities in north west Western Australia have notified the company that they intend to stop work for 2 weeks commencing September 14.

This legal protected industrial action is sanctioned by Australia’s Fair Work Commission.

The escalation in notified industrial action comes as Offshore Alliance bargaining representatives and representatives from Chevron are all this week appearing before Australia’s industrial relations umpire in an attempt to conciliate an outcome to the current enterprise agreement (EA) negotiations covering the three facilities and approximately 500 workers.

Previously notified protected industrial action will commence this Thursday the 7th of September, which includes 20 types of industrial action, including numerous work bans and shorter stoppages of work.

Offshore Alliance members have been consistently disappointed with the oil and gas giant’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 industrial action that cost Shell an estimated $1.5bn in lost production. 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 unfortunate that Chevron can’t see its employees are fed up with Chevron refusing to acknowledge their reasonable claims.

“The Offshore Alliance and its members don’t proceed down the path of industrial action lightly. However, we’re now at the point where a period of industrial action impacting all three facilities seems unavoidable.” 

“Chevron continues to delay by offering out of touch proposals and refusing reasonable claims put forward by members. Chevron knows what the industry standards are – they just need to make the offer. 

“Offshore Alliance members want to finish negotiations with an industry standard agreement. That’s not unreasonable and realistically it could happen overnight if Chevron was willing.," says Mr Gandy.

Contact: Tim Brunero 0405 285 547

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