The MUA is currently negotiating with 22 employers in the offshore oil and gas industry for an agreement on pay conditions for the next four years.
The most recent agreement expired on 31st July, 2013.
We are campaigning for outcomes that are in the national interest.
Our key demands include a requirement that industry have to genuinely consult with us to determine whether there is a shortage of local workers, before they turn to foreign labour. It is in the national interest for Australians to have the first opportunity to work on these big jobs.
We are also seeking a 6 per cent per annum pay rise over the life of the agreement. The big oil and gas companies want to use floating oil and gas technology, instead of building their projects onshore. This will mean fewer jobs onshore and diminished economic benefits. It is in the national interest for our workers to be paid well, so they can spread the benefits of these projects through the rest of the economy.
Our members also deserve to be paid well. They are away from their families for weeks at a time and work in isolated and dangerous environments. They work hard, long hours, and this needs to be recognised.
We are also seeking better rosters, to take the pressure off our members and their families. The current industry standard is a four weeks on, four weeks off roster. Workers in Western Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry currently work five weeks on, five weeks off, creating enormous family and social pressures. It is in the national interest for the industry standard to be adopted.
During this campaign, you will hear a lot from industry about what we are asking for. Chances are, the things you will read in the paper are out of date and have been off the negotiating table for months. If you want the facts about where we are coming from, this is the place to get them.
The MUA wants our offshore oil and gas industry to be as successful in the next ten years, as it has in the last ten years. However, we want to make sure that the workers on these projects, and the broader Australian economy, benefit as much from these projects as the shareholders of Chevron, Woodside and the other multinationals who own the rights to the gas.