The Offshore Alliance, composed of two LNG (liquid natural gas) workers’ unions have today resolved their dispute with energy giant Chevron, bringing a halt to strikes at the Gorgon and Wheatstone plants that had begun in early September. The now-suspended industrial action jeopardised the flow of 7% of the world’s LNG supply.
A proposal to end the dispute put forward by the Australian Labour Regulator after mediation by the Fair Work Commission was accepted by both parties, with Chevron agreeing to up wages, ensure career progression, set rosters and work to improve job security for workers.
In a submission to the Fair Work Commission, the Union Alliance pushed Chevron to match the wages set by Australia’s largest LNG company, Woodside Energy, after they resolved a separate dispute with unions. According to Reuters, “[The agreement with Woodside Energy] set total remuneration for offshore platform technicians at between A$350,233 (USD 225,035) at entry level and A$418,337 (USD 418,337) at the highest level.”
In addition, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, global gas and oil prices skyrocketed with Australia, the US and Qatar stepping in to fill the market gaps with LNG. Speaking to the BBC’s Asia Business Report, expert Saul Kavonic stated, “It was quite remarkable that a few hundred workers offshore Western Australia have managed to roil global markets and cause tens of billions of dollars in market movements.” The conclusion of the strike is likely to bring a welcome drop in gas prices for Europe and Asia.