Workers at Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG plants in Western Australia have agreed to suspend industrial action planned for Thursday and will now vote on new agreements on pay and conditions.
The Offshore Alliance, which includes the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Workers’ Union, said in a social media post on Wednesday that its members on the Chevron facilities voted 94 percent in support of an in-principle agreement to suspend protected industrial action.
Previously, unions representing workers at the 15.5 mtpa Gorgon and the 8.9 mtpa Wheatstone LNG export terminals and the Wheatstone offshore platform in Western Australia decided on September 22 to suspend strikes.
Chevron accepted recommendations made by Australia’s FWC and the parties have been working to complete the drafting of the enterprise agreements since then.
However, the Offshore Alliance said earlier this this month that Chevron has “reneged on the commitment they gave to the Fair Work Commission to incorporate FWC’s recommendations into the Chevron EBA’s for the Wheatstone and Gorgon facilities.”
The parties, with the assistance of commissioner Bernie Riordan, have been working since the last week to resolve the remaining issues in order to progress drafting of the proposed enterprise agreements.
On October 14, workers voted again to resume the strikes on October 19.
Chevron’s workers to vote on new agreements
The Offshore Alliance said on Wednesday that its members on the Chevron facilities are now reviewing the proposed EBA’s which “lock in key employment conditions and union standards.”
“Members are now reviewing the draft enterprise agreements and are awaiting Chevron commencing the access period so that members can review and vote on the three proposed agreements to cover the Chevron and Wheatstone facilities,” the alliance said.
“The Offshore Alliance is encouraging members to vote ‘YES’ on the the enterprise agreements which deliver members secure jobs, significant improvements in employment conditions and the ability to push back on Chevron’s efforts to implement unilateral changes to the industrial rights of workers,” it said.
Chevron previously said that the parties have been working on a “small number of items that the parties interpret differently.”
The items include per diems as an allowance or reimbursement, accommodation and flights for training, and cabin sharing (Wheatstone platform only).
“Chevron Australia welcomes in-principle agreement with the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) on proposed enterprise agreements for employees at our Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities,” a Chevron Australia spokesperson told LNG Prime on Wednesday.
“Following in-principle agreement, we will provide the proposed enterprise agreements tonight to the relevant employees to consider, opening the required seven-day access period, with a ballot to be held next week,” Chevron’s spokesperson said.
If voted up, Chevron will submit the agreements to the FWC for approval, the spokesperson added.