Offshore Alliance members working on three Chevron gas facilities in Western Australia, Gorgon, Wheatstone Platform and Wheatstone Downstream have overnight voted in favour of three proposed Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA) with the company.
The agreements deliver members secure jobs, fixed rosters, career progression and significant improvements in pay and conditions of employment.
For Gorgon and Wheatstone Downstream, the Offshore Alliance was negotiating on behalf of its members with Chevron since the start of 2023, and since mid-2022 for its members at the Wheatstone Platform.
But the genesis of these negotiations was far longer.
Members at the Wheatstone Platform first contacted the Offshore Alliance in 2019 seeking an industry standard EBA with Chevron.
In 2020, the need for the protection of a union negotiated enterprise agreement became crystal clear when Chevron used COVID to purge their workforce, assisted by the appalling one sided contracts employees were on.
When Offshore Alliance members at Gorgon and Wheatstone Downstream also expressed interest in an industry standard EBA, the Offshore Alliance secured the commencement of negotiations for these two facilities as well, eventually representing 98% of the workers covered by the EBAs, which gave the Alliance and the workers the necessary collective strength to bargain with Chevron on an equal footing.
Chevron tried every trick in the book to bully their workforce, from standover tactics and countless legal letters and threats to bringing in an untrained, untested and incompetent workforce (to large hazardous facilities) in an attempt to try and destroy the unity of its own employees.
But it was the steady determination of Offshore Alliance members, along with their strategic and judicious use of legal Protected Industrial Action, which saw them through.
In the end, Offshore Alliance members secured all of their key bargaining claims.
Offshore Alliance members successfully negotiated job security provisions to prevent members' jobs being outsourced to contractors, the removal of behavioural standards which have prevented members progressing through the classification structure, locking in 40% rosters for all employees, salary indexation, union representation, arbitration of disputes in the Fair Work Commission, improved overcycle and training provisions and more.
The Offshore Alliance is an alliance between The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).
Offshore Alliance spokesperson, AWU WA Secretary Brad Gandy, says Offshore Alliance members at Chevron never blinked during negotiations.
“Throughout all stages of the campaign Alliance members were steadfast in their determination for an industry standard enterprise agreement,” says Mr Gandy.
“Chevron took a hostile approach from the start, ultimately going as far as bringing in untrained and incompetent workers to work at its facilities during protected industrial action in an attempt to undermine our members’ solidarity and efforts to secure an industry standard agreement.
“At the outset Chevron told the Alliance that our members’ claims would never be accepted by the company. Here we are now with three agreements full of them, and it was the collective and unbending strength of Offshore Alliance members that got them there.
“Subjective behavioural standards, which have previously prevented members progressing through the classification structure classification are gone. Career progression will now be competency based.
“40% rosters are now locked in for all employees, which means those coerced by Chevron during COVID to move to a 50% roster will transferred to their previous, more family friendly roster.
“Chevron employees now have union representation, arbitration of disputes in the Fair Work Commission, improved overcycle provisions and significantly enhanced training provisions, including additional payment, allowances and the right to refuse additional work.
“Our members dared to stand together against a giant multinational that tried all the tactics it could think of. A big thank you must go to the employee representatives and workplace leaders amongst them who put a lot of their own time into this and were integral to the result.
“Offshore Alliance members at Chevron now have an industry standard EBA in their workplace,” says Mr Gandy.
Contact: Tim Brunero 0405 285 547