Offshore Alliance said Sept. 21 its members have "overwhelmingly voted to endorse a deal" with Woodside Energy after reaching an in-principle agreement in August while OA members at Chevron will consider a recommendation from the Fair Work Commission later in the day.
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"Offshore Alliance members at Woodside have overwhelmingly voted to endorse a deal with the company while members at Chevron will meet tonight to consider a recommendation made this morning by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) after the parties were engaged in talks before the FWC earlier in the week," it said in a statement.
Offshore Alliance's endorsement of the deal with Woodside came after it had said Aug. 24 that it would not to file a notice of industrial action on Woodside's North West Shelf LNG platforms.
"While tonight Offshore Alliance members at Woodside can rightly be expected to be celebrating negotiating an industry standard Enterprise Agreement with Woodside, Offshore Alliance members at Chevron will be actively considering this morning's Fair Work Commission recommendation," Offshore Alliance spokesperson Brad Gandy said.
Offshore Alliance, an alliance between the Australian Workers' Union and the Maritime Union of Australia, described its industry standard enterprise agreement with Woodside as the first one to apply to workers on the platforms in 30 years.
"Our members at Chevron will be tonight considering Commissioner Riordan's recommendation carefully as it touches on some key bargaining claims," Gandy said.
The FWC's recommendation came a day after Chevron and the Offshore Alliance failed to reach an agreement during conciliation talks Sept. 20 as the FWC is set to hear Chevron's request for an intractable bargaining declaration on the matter Sept. 22. The declaration has provisions that can act as a circuit breaker when there are no reasonable prospects of an agreement between disputing parties.
Currently, there are no conciliation talks underway between Chevron and the unions. However, Chevron and the unions have to decide whether to accept the FWC's recommendations by 9 am Australian Eastern Standard Time on Sept. 22 (2300 GMT) ahead of the scheduled hearing from 10 am.
The Gorgon and Wheatstone projects are among Australia's largest resource developments. Gorgon comprises a three-train, 15.6 million mt/year LNG facility and a domestic gas plant, while Wheatstone has a nameplate capacity of 8.9 million mt/year LNG and a domestic gas plant.