Workers at one of Australia’s major liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities have threatened to go on strike if an agreement cannot be reached with Woodside Energy Group by Wednesday. This latest development in the ongoing dispute over pay and conditions has sent shockwaves through the global gas market, causing prices to rise in Europe and Asia. LNG buyers are now delaying purchases and requesting more flexible delivery terms to mitigate any potential impact.
The Offshore Alliance, a group representing two major labour unions, announced on social media that workers have unanimously endorsed giving Woodside seven working days to address their industrial action claims. If these claims are not resolved by close of business on Wednesday, strike action could commence as early as September 2. Workers’ groups are required to provide seven days’ notice before initiating any industrial action.
Woodside has stated that it is actively and constructively engaging in the bargaining process and that positive progress is being made. The company’s spokeswoman has reiterated that there have been no changes to this position since the statement was issued.
The unions have been engaged in discussions with Woodside Energy regarding demands for better pay and working conditions for staff at offshore platforms supplying the North West Shelf LNG export facility in Western Australia. In a recent ballot, approximately 150 Woodside workers voted in favor of potential action, including stoppages ranging from 30 minutes to four hours. Other actions could involve refusing to unload cargo, except for food, water, or medical supplies, as well as halting the restart of gas compressors or generators and ceasing to facilitate helicopter landings.
Meanwhile, workers at Chevron’s key LNG plants in Australia have also begun voting on potential industrial action. Should both Woodside and Chevron sites experience outages, it could jeopardize up to 10% of global LNG supply, according to Goldman Sachs Group.
This development highlights the increasing tension between energy companies and workers in the LNG industry. As demands for fairer pay and improved conditions persist, the possibility of further strikes and disruptions to the global gas market remains a significant concern. The outcome of the ongoing negotiations between Woodside Energy and the unions will have far-reaching implications for the industry as a whole.
In conclusion, the threat of strike action at Australia’s LNG facilities is causing ripple effects in the global gas market. With prices rising and buyers becoming more cautious, the pressure is mounting on Woodside Energy to reach an agreement with the workers. The potential for strike action, if not resolved by Wednesday, could have severe consequences for the industry and further exacerbate the already strained supply chain. The coming days will be crucial in determining the outcome of these negotiations and the future stability of the LNG market.