Friday, 6 February 2015

Chevron challenged by unions over Gorgon claims

Chevron is telling analysts that everything is under control on the Gorgon LNG projects, despite costs ballooning and it being late. The ITF and MUA have challenged the company to come clean.

ITF: ‘Time For an Honest Conversation from Chevron’

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) are urging Chevron to have an honest conversation with workers, shareholders and consumers on the state of the Gorgon project located off the coast of Western Australia.

This week, Chevron reported to its shareholders that the multi-billion dollar gas project was “just fine”.
The Australian Financial Review reported that: “Chevron chief executive John Watson has voiced confidence in the economics of the severely over-budget Gorgon ­liquefied natural gas project.”

ITF president Paddy Crumlin said this insistence by Chevron management that the project was ‘fine’ was misleading.

“The ITF has evidence to suggest that the Gorgon project is far from fine,” Mr Crumlin said.

“In fact, published research by University of Sydney Business School Professor Bradon Ellem contends that the Gorgon Project has been the subject of severe mismanagement.

“The union movement is very keen for there to be future investment in Australia’s oil and gas industry because it creates jobs for our members. 

“To ensure that investment continues we need to have an honest conversation about where things are currently going wrong.

“We’ve been inundated with so much information challenging Chevron’s position from those who have worked closely with the Gorgon Project that we’ve had to set up a dedicated website for people to submit Chevron’s stuff ups.”

The website - - is a joint project of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). 

It is a part of an ongoing global campaign to build awareness of management errors that have caused delays and cost overruns on Gorgon.

Local Chevron management and industry group, the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), have unfairly blamed the MUA for problems on the Gorgon project, as the union has sought to negotiate a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for maritime workers working in the offshore oil and gas sector.

MUA WA branch secretary Christy Cain said maritime workers had been used as scapegoats by Chevron Australia.

“Research undertaken by BIS Shrapnel found that the wages of maritime workers make up less than one percent of the US$54 billion cost of building Gorgon,” Mr Cain said.

“Despite the negligible impact of maritime wages on the total construction cost of Gorgon, the MUA and our members are portrayed by the industry and their henchmen as being responsible for all of the problems facing the Gorgon project and the LNG sector as a whole.
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