Chevron Australia LNG Workers Back Strike Threat in Second Meeting, No Talks

Chevron Wheatstone Platform - Credit: Chevron Australia
Chevron Wheatstone Platform - Credit: Chevron Australia

Workers at Chevron's two liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Western Australia voted to restart strikes on Friday, endorsing a similar move by colleagues at a meeting less than 24 hours earlier.

Night-shift workers at Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities voted to restart strikes in the afternoon meeting, the Offshore Alliance, a coalition of two unions, said in a statement. The unions accuse the U.S. oil giant of reneging on a deal that ended strikes last month. 

Reuters reported on Thursday, the bulk of workers at the facilities had voted to strike.

“It’s disappointing but hardly surprising Chevron have welched on the deal given the bad faith they have shown bargaining with their workforce over the last year or so," Offshore Alliance's Brad Gandy said in a statement.

“The Offshore Alliance is a member-led union and at mass meetings held in the last 24 hours, members have resolved to recommence protected industrial action."

Chevron must be given seven business days' notice before strikes can begin and unions said they plan to file the notice on Monday.

Chevron did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment, but on Thursday it said it continued to work with all parties to finalize a deal based on recommendations made by Australia's industrial arbitrator, the Fair Work Commission (FWC), in September.

A union representative who declined to be named said there are no talks currently scheduled with Chevron.

A pay and conditions deal brokered by the FWC in September ended weeks of strikes at the two facilities responsible for around 7% of global LNG.

However, the parties have been unable to agree on the wording of a final contract.

If the two sides fail to reach a deal, the matter could go back to the commission, which had been due to begin hearings on whether to intervene and end strikes when the parties reached an 11th-hour agreement.

Those hearings were adjourned for four weeks in late September to give time to draft an agreement. Chevron would need to give seven days' notice before resuming the matter.

(Reuters - Reporting by Nilutpal Timsina in Bengaluru and Lewis Jackson in SydneyEditing by Mark Potter and Sharon Singleton)

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