Australian unions extend strike at Shell LNG plant

A Shell sign is seen at a petrol station in Melbourne

The Offshore Alliance and the electric trade union said they had extended a ban on tasks such as transporting and delivering hydrocarbons or other products from the facility off the coast of northwest Australia.

Shell this month began shutting down its 3.6mtpa site and told customers it would not be able to deliver loads for the duration of the approved or protected Australian Fair Labor Commission shutdown.

Shell told workers it would not resume talks on a new wage agreement until they broke off the strikes that began on June 10.

“We need your help to lift the IIA so we can get back to the negotiating table and normal business,” Peter Norman, asset manager at Shell Prelude, told workers on Monday in a letter seen by Reuters.

In the letter, Shell said it was canceling a planned shutdown of workers to allow work essential to safety, and that it would split the wages of those working part-time due to the work interruption.

On Tuesday, Daniel Walton, a spokesman for the Offshore Alliance, said that while Shell rejected the union’s offer to mediate through the Fair Work Committee last week, it remained in place.

“Negotiations should always be a dialogue, not a chicken game,” Walton said.

The Offshore Alliance is using an April wage deal with Japan’s Inpex for its Ichthys LNG process as a benchmark for discussions with other multinational oil and gas companies.

Inpex agreed base salaries between A$125,000 and A$258,000 ($86,000 and $178,000) plus allowances, with increases of between A$92,000 and A$102,000.

Prelude is jointly owned by Shell, Inpex, Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS), and Taiwan’s state-owned Chinese Petroleum Corp.

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