Workers at Woodside and Chevron’s offshore LNG facilities in Australia have voted to strike as early as next week, with experts concerned the strike will see LNG supplies dwindle and prices skyrocket.
LNG exports from the facilities make up 11% of exports globally, according to gas market analysts.
Offshore Alliance members at Chevron and Woodside say the industrial action is a result of the gas giants’ failure to agree to benchmark pay and conditions, prohibitions against outsourcing jobs to labour hire contractors and job security.
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Over 150 members on Woodside’s offshore LNG platforms Goodwyn Alpha, North Rankin Complex and Angel Platform off the coast of Karratha in Western Australia’s North West yesterday voted 99% in favour of taking Protected Industrial Action to progress their bargaining claims.
Further negotiations are scheduled for Tuesday, August 15. Protected Industrial Action could include a range of work bans including refusing to load tankers or vessels with LNG or condensate, up to complete stoppages of work.
Spokesperson for the Offshore Alliance, which is an alliance between The Australian Workers’ Union and the Maritime Union of Australia, AWU WA Secretary Brad Gandy said, “Gas producers like Woodside and Chevron might be used to throwing their weight around in countries with weak industrial laws but Australian workers have fought for over 100 years for strong industrial rights.
“The sooner these huge, profitable gas producers approach these negotiations pragmatically and get back around the bargaining table the better.
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“Offshore Alliance members are willing to take industrial action and the union sincerely hopes that Woodside and Chevron have learned from the mistakes Shell made last year when a strike of Offshore Alliance members lasting 76 days cost the gas giant $1.5 billion in lost production.
“Our members are acutely aware $50 billion was made last year exporting Australian gas to the world last year and they don’t want to jeopardise that, but Chevron and Woodside are leaving them little option but to take industrial action,” Gandy said.