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Lives at risk in ExxonMobil dispute in Australia

22 November, 2018A long-running dispute with oil and gas giant ExxonMobil and its contractor UGL is putting workers’ lives at risk and having a devastating effect on communities, reveals Troy Carter from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) in an interview with IndustriALL.

Troy and his co-workers have been holding a picket at Exxon/Mobil’s Longford gas plant in south-eastern Victoria, Australia, seven days a week, for over 500 days.

In June 2017, ExxonMobil contractor UGL sacked its entire maintenance workforce of 230 people and offered them their jobs back the very next day but with up to a 30 to 50 per cent drop in wages.

The new contract would also cut annual leave entitlements and allowances, while implementing harsh anti-family shift rosters. It also proposed implementation of stand down clauses which could see employees at work, but unpaid.

The contractor UGL used underhand tactics and loopholes in Australian law to try to force workers into an agreement approved by just a handful of unrelated workers in Western Australia, thousands of miles away from their workplace.

These conditions were then presented to the workforce in a "take it or leave it" approach.

The Longford maintenance workers, who maintain onshore and offshore rigs operated by ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso, are members of IndustriALL Australian affiliates AMWU, AWU and ETU.

Watch the full interview with Troy Carter here explaining how safety is being compromised and communities are suffering…