Chevron CEO says unions aren't to blame for delays and blowouts on Gorgon

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has welcomed news that Chevron CEO John Watson has distanced himself from claims by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) that the MUA is to blame for delays and blowouts on the Gorgon project.

Responding to a question from International Transport Workers Federation President and MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin at a shareholders’ meeting in Texas overnight, Mr Watson said he had, “no intention of blaming organised labour for cost overruns or delays at Gorgon.”

MUA WA State Secretary Christy Cain said Mr Watson’s comments had blown a hole in the side of AMMA’s campaign to blame workers for problems on the project.

“Over the last 18 months, we have seen a deliberate and coordinated campaign from AMMA to attribute all of the problems on the Gorgon project on maritime workers and the MUA,” Mr Cain said.

“Their tactics have been to inflate public perceptions of the wages and conditions of our members and create a perception that we are damaging the viability of the sector.  Their long-term objective is to win public support for a return to WorkChoices-style industrial relations laws, where industry has all the power and workers have none.

“We now have BIS Shrapnel and University of Sydney research that concludes that maritime wages make up less than one per cent of the cost of building projects like Gorgon, and that better management practices offer the biggest opportunities for improved productivity.

“With the CEO of Chevron now saying that unions are not to blame for the problems on Gorgon, we demand that AMMA apologise to the MUA and our members for the dishonest and misleading campaign they have been running.” 

The University of Sydney report can be downloaded here