Woodside workers vote to strike at NWS LNG offshore platforms

Woodside’s workers at North West Shelf offshore gas platforms have voted on Sunday to take industrial action, giving Woodside seven working days’ notice to strike if their bargaining claims are not met.

Earlier this month, Woodside and Chevron said they were in talks with unions as they work to avoid strikes that could affect operations at the North West Shelf, Gorgon, and Wheatstone LNG projects in Western Australia.

These three projects have a combined capacity of about 40.8 million tonnes of LNG per year, or some 10 percent of the global LNG imports in 2022.

Most of the LNG supplies from these plants are landing in Japan and South Korea.

Australian LNG player Woodside operates the North West Shelf LNG terminal in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The plant has five LNG trains, launched between 1989 and 2008, with a capacity of 16.9 million tonnes per year and most of these volumes supply customers in Japan. It also has domestic gas trains, condensate stabilization units, and LPG units.

Australia’s oldest LNG plant has been liquefying gas from fields located off the north-west coast of Australia since 1989.

The project includes the North Rankin complex, Goodwyn A platform, and the Angel platform.

Bargaining process

The Offshore Alliance, which includes the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Workers’ Union, said on Saturday via its social media that its members have “unanimously endorsed” giving Woodside seven working days’ notice to strike if its bargaining claims are not met by close of business on Wednesday.

“Woodside spent $2 million on lawyers to try and prevent our members from exercising their lawful right to bargain for an EBA – and lost,” the alliance said.

“They will lose billions of dollars of LNG export revenue if they take us on, as our members are up for the fight. This is an impending dispute which will ultimately stop Woodside’s LNG exports whilst maintaining domestic gas supply,” it said.

Unions are required to give companies seven working days’ notice before industrial action.

Asked about the action, a Woodside spokesperson told LNG Prime that the company “continues to engage actively and constructively in the bargaining process.”

Workers on Chevron’s Wheatstone and Gorgon LNG projects projects are also voting on industrial action.

The Offshore Alliance previously said that the Chevron Wheatstone downstream and Gorgon facility protected industrial action ballots opened on Friday and the Wheatstone platform ballot opens on Monday.

If successful, the alliance can decide whether to go ahead with the action.

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