MUA sick of industry lies about workers' wages

The Maritime Union of Australia said today it was sick of the oil and gas industry pedaling blatant lies about the wages of maritime workers.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association claimed that cooks on offshore projects were earning more than $350,000 a year.

“Clearly the industry spin doctors are at it again, this figure is so way off the mark it is laughable,” said MUA WA Secretary Christy Cain.

“An independent BIS Shrapnel report found that claims that cooks were earning $230,000 were exaggerated by 42%.

“Now, industry is claiming they earn $350,000, which is even more ridiculous, especially given workers haven’t received a pay rise in the last 14 months.

“I challenge the industry to find one single person who is earning the amount that it claims,” he said.

The MUA has today released the wages schedule from its last EBA agreement with shipping company Farstad to prove its point.

“The Schedule, which is the same for all shipping companies, clearly shows that the top amount a cook can earn is $137,600,” said Mr Cain.

“On top, the small number of our members who are working during construction can earn an extra $39,000 a year in allowances.”

“I don’t know what kind of calculator the industry is using, but that doesn’t add up to anywhere near the figures that it is claiming.”

The BIS Shrapnel report also found that less than 1% of the cost of constructing a project like Gorgon was attributable to maritime wages.

Mr Cain said if industry wanted someone to blame for cost blowouts and overruns, it should look at management practices.

He criticised Chevron for refusing to meet with the MUA to discuss building a sustainable offshore oil and gas industry.