Shell to stop paying Prelude FLNG workers as industrial action continues

Shell has told workers at its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility offshore Western Australia that it would stop paying them as of Monday after the strike action over a wage dispute was extended for two more weeks.

Shell, which operates Prelude with a 67.5% stake, informed last week it would be shutting down the large FLNG vessel and that it would not be able to supply cargoes until the protected industrial action ends.

The Offshore Alliance, which combines the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Workers’ Union, said the strike action has been extended until August 4, after Shell refused to bargain with their representatives since they overwhelmingly rejected the company’s latest pay offer nine days ago.

“The Offshore Alliance has put Shell on notice that its refusal to get back to the bargaining table is in breach of the Fair Work Act and will inevitably result in legal proceedings in the Fair Work Commission.

“The Offshore Alliance and our Prelude FLNG members won’t be backing down or backing away from our bargaining claims,” the alliance said on social media.

Shell earlier said it would be sending workers off the Prelude as work stoppages were affecting the company’s ability to moor carriers at the site to pick up LNG cargoes.

The company’s spokesperson noted Shell had tried to find workarounds for the bans and stoppages, but it could not continue to do so after the production shutdown.

“As a consequence, we will be resorting to lockouts as the mechanism available under the Fair Work Act. Once the lockouts are in effect, people will no longer be paid if they are not mobilised to the facility,” the spokesperson said.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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