Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG workers plan to resume strike next week

Workers at Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG plants in Western Australia plan to resume strikes on October 19 as part of an ongoing dispute with the energy giant.

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.

Prior to this, Chevron accepted recommendations made by Australia’s workplace tribunal FWC.

Since then, the parties have been working to finalize the drafting of enterprise agreements.

However, the Offshore Alliance, which includes the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Workers’ Union, said last week that Chevron has “reneged on the commitment they gave to the Fair Work Commission to incorporate the FWC’s recommendations into the Chevron EBA’s for the Wheatstone and Gorgon facilities.”

Chevron’s workers decided last week to resume strikes and the Offshore Alliance said that it will provide a seven-day notice to Chevron on Monday before resuming strikes.

A Chevron Australia spokesperson confirmed to LNG Prime on Monday that the company has received “notices of intention to take protected industrial action at our Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities for work stoppages and partial work bans commencing October 19.”

Working to finalize agreements

Chevron said it is working to resolve the remaining issues between the parties in order to progress drafting of the proposed enterprise agreements.

“In line with the directions of the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission, Chevron Australia has today sought the assistance of Commissioner Bernie Riordan to conclude drafting of the enterprise agreements for our Gorgon and Wheatstone gas facilities,” the spokesperson said.

“Chevron Australia and the unions have progressed all drafting to implement Commissioner Riordan’s recommendation, with the exception of a small number of items that the parties interpret differently,” according to the spokesperson.

The items include per diems as an allowance or reimbursement, accommodation and flights for training, and cabin sharing (Wheatstone platform only), the spokesperson said.

“Once we receive the further clarification from the Commissioner, we will be able to finalize the enterprise agreements and provide them to our employees to vote on,” Chevron’s spokesperson said.

“While we don’t believe that industrial action is necessary, given we are seeking the assistance of the Fair Work Commission to resolve the small number of outstanding items between the parties, we will continue to take steps to maintain safe and reliable operations in the event of disruption at our facilities,” the spokesperson said.

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