The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has welcomed the Fair Work Commission’s approval of a protected action ballot on the Gorgon Project as a way to force Chevron back to the negotiating table over family-friendly rosters.
“Chevron’s contractors have put four agreements out to vote on Barrow Island already. None have got close to getting majority support of our members because none have addressed the core issue of meaningfully reducing the almost eighty percent of the year workers are away from their families,” WA State Secretary Steve McCartney said.
“We want to bring FIFO into the 21st century with a modern and sustainable roster that takes into account the increasingly diverse nature of the FIFO workplace.”
“It’s no longer just young single men leading this life and it’s not about the money: it’s about workers who just want more time with their families while doing the best they can for them.”
“We have continually urged CBI to put out a roster that at least went part of the way to addressing our members’ concerns but they have ignored that advice.”
“CBI have had every opportunity to come to put a family friendly roster on the table but the law says where they won’t compromise, our members have a right to vote on whether to take industrial action.”
“Our members on Gorgon have put up with double-bunking, being put in a floating barge and being stranded in a cyclone. They’ve been taken for granted for a long time I’m not surprised they want to take a stand on this issue.
Mr McCartney referenced the bi-partisan WA Parliamentary Inquiry into FIFO Mental health, in particular its recommendation of even time rosters, peer support, better communication facilities on the job and abolition of motelling.
“Mental health on these jobs must be a priority. We just had a bi-partisan Parliamentary committee recommend even-time rosters.
“We are advocating a sensible midpoint between even-time and the status quo of 26 days on nine off. It’s reasonable and achievable. The prospect of industrial strife could end today if Chevron would just meet us in the middle.
Mr McCartney also said that family-friendly rosters would allow more Australians to apply for FIFO jobs and reduce the need for overseas workers.
“Chevron has paid no tax in Australia last year on an operating revenue of $3.2billion. It’s time to give something back to Australian workers.”
For comment contact Tom Palmer on: 0408 877 136.