Chevron Corp. and unions are close to a deal to end strikes at liquefied natural gas export plants in Australia that have roiled global markets, with the nation’s regulator proposing an agreement to bridge the remaining issues.
(Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp. and unions are close to a deal to end strikes at liquefied natural gas export plants in Australia that have roiled global markets, with the nation’s regulator proposing an agreement to bridge the remaining issues.
“The parties are on the precipice of achieving historical first enterprise agreements,” the Fair Work Commission said in a statement dated Thursday. “A large number of issues have been settled. However, a failure to settle all of the outstanding issues will result in those agreed provisions simply evaporating.”
The walkouts at Chevron-operated Wheatstone and Gorgon LNG facilities could end as soon as Friday, as the FWC moves to broker an agreement.
The commission proposed recommendations that the two parties must accept by 9 a.m. on Friday in Sydney, including on pay and travel, one hour before a scheduled hearing that would allow the regulator to set terms independently. The employees at Chevron’s projects started ramping up strikes last week, threatening to reduce exports from one of the world’s biggest suppliers and sending global prices higher.
Chevron is reviewing the recommendation, the company said in an emailed statement.
If the parties don’t accept the proposals, a hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in Sydney to decide on so-called intractable bargaining declarations for the sites, which potentially allow the FWC to dictate the terms and conditions of employment. That could also end the strikes.
Read more: Chevron, Australia Unions Fail to Make Deal Amid LNG Strikes
“The parties have been negotiating for these agreements for a long period of time and have spent countless hours at the negotiating table,” the FWC said. “It would be a pity and very frustrating to simply throw out these agreed positions and have the parties return to their respective logs of claims for any future arbitration.”
(Updates with Chevron’s comment in the fifth paragraph.)
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