AMMA must not mislead public at Perth conference

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has challenged the Australian Mines & Metals Association (AMMA) to not mislead the public over wages and conditions on resources projects, during its Perth conference, which starts tomorrow.

Over the last 18 months, AMMA has misled the public over the wages and conditions in different sectors of the resources industry, as a part of representative work it performs for industry.

MUA WA Secretary Christy Cain challenged AMMA to stick to the facts.

“For 18 months, AMMA said cooks in the offshore oil and gas industry earned $230,000 per year, until BIS Shrapnel research found they earned an average of $160,000 per annum,” Mr Cain said.

“And, just last week, AMMA were implying that deckhands on Port Hedland tugboats only worked half the year.  But, the reality is these deckhands work hours equivalent to 54 weeks of a standard 37.5 hour working week each year.”

Mr Cain challenged AMMA Chief Executive Steve Knott to address the recent findings of the University of Sydney Business School about the real reasons for cost blowouts and delays on the Gorgon project, when addressing the conference on Thursday morning.

“Research released by the University of Sydney Business School yesterday found that management practices, not high wages, were the key driver in cost blowouts and delays on Gorgon,” he said.

“This builds on research undertaken by BIS Shrapnel last year, which found that maritime wages made up less than one per cent of the cost of building Gorgon.”

“Instead of making more inflated claims about the wages and conditions of workers, we would like to hear Steve Knott respond to the findings of these two quality pieces of research.”

The University of Sydney report can be downloaded from