Chevron: Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG workers to start strike after talks fail

Workers at Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG plants will start protected action on Friday after talks between the energy giant and unions ended without an agreement.

This week, Chevron has been trying to narrow points of difference with employees and their representatives through further bargaining mediated by the Fair Work Commission.

The Offshore Alliance, which includes the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Workers’ Union, said on Wednesday that Chevron’s workers on the Gorgon and Wheatstone downstream facilities and the Wheatstone platform plan a total strike for two weeks from September 14 as part of an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

These are two additional weeks from the original one-week strike action.

A Chevron Australia spokesperson told LNG Prime the company had been advised that industrial action would start on Friday.

The spokesperson confirmed that conciliation sessions with the Fair Work Commission ended on Friday without agreement.

“Throughout this process, we bargained in good faith and sought to reach an agreement that achieves a market competitive outcome which is in the interests of both employees and the company,” the spokesperson said.

“Unfortunately, following numerous meetings and conciliation sessions before the Fair Work Commission, we remain apart on key terms,” Chevron’s spokesperson said.

“The unions continue to seek terms that are above and beyond equivalent terms with others in the industry, including in agreements recently reached,” the spokesperson said.

“We will continue to take steps to maintain safe and reliable operations in the event of disruption at our facilities,” the spokesperson added.

“It’s game on, Chevron,” Offshore Alliance says

The Offshore Alliance said in a social media post that the action will start at 13:00h Perth time.

“Despite the Offshore Alliance giving Chevron plenty of opportunity to sort out EBA’s across the three Chevron facilities, they will finally be facing their day of reckoning,” the alliance said.

“When PIA commences, plant on each respective facility will be shut down if there are not competent personnel to undertake handovers during work stoppages,” it said.

“It’s game on, Chevron,” the alliance said.

The Gorgon LNG plant on Barrow Island has three trains and a production capacity of some 15.5 mtpa, while the Wheatstone LNG plant near Onslow has a capacity of about 8.9 mtpa.

These two projects have a combined capacity of about 25.4 mtpa.

Japan’s Jera is the biggest buyer of Wheastone LNG volumes, while its compatriots Kyushu Electric and Tohoku Electric also take supplies from this plant.

Jera is also one the biggest buyers of Gorgon LNG volumes along with Japan’s Osaka Gas and Tokyo Gas, China’s PetroChina, and India’s Petronet LNG.

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