Speaking from the ITF congress in Bulgaria, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) president Paddy Crumlin said Australia’s Barrow Island could be declared a ‘port of convenience’ unless Chevron tempers its union-busting efforts in the offshore oil and gas sector.
Chevron’s Gorgon LNG project off Australia’s north-west coast has overrun from USD 37 billion to USD 54 billion, and Crumlin feels that the increase is the result of the project mismanagement on part of Chevron.
Parts of the company are now trying to shift the blame for the poor results onto unions, claims Crumlin, who is also national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).
“If Chevron continues to seek to exclude my union from an Australian island which will export natural gas then it will have to be declared a port of convenience,” Crumlin told the 43rd ITF congress in Sofia, Bulgaria.
“They are suing the MUA for no more reason than workers on the job ensuring that occupational health and safety standards are met.
“We have made attempts to reach out to Chevron, we travelled to their shareholder meeting in Midland, Texas, earlier this year.”
Watson said he had “no intention of blaming organised labour for cost overruns or delays at Gorgon.”
“Employers need to decide clearly whether they want to work with unions – and we’ll be there – or against unions – and we’ll be there as well,” Crumlin said.
The 43rd ITF congress in Sofia brings together almost 2,000 participants from 379 unions in 116 countries.