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400 jobs on the line so far as COVID-19 hits operations

20 Mar 2020 10:18 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

OIL and gas operators are facing uncertainty on all fronts today, as the coronavirus takes a stranglehold of the market and the government introduces harsh new travel restrictions.

This morning, unions released a statement attacking gas giant Woodside Petroleum for standing down 400 workers without pay from its Western Australian operations.

Over 400 contractor employees from Woodside's Goodwyn and North Rankin platforms, along with Woodside floating production storage and offloading units, have been summarily stood down, according to the Australian Workers Union.

The AWU condemned Woodside, dubbing the move "a brutal act of industrial bastardry." 

"Today's decision by Woodside is maybe the most heartless corporate response we've seen to the COVID-19 crisis to date," said Offshore Alliance spokesperson and Australian Workers' Union national secretary Daniel Walton said.

The 400-worker figure has been challenged by a second source however, who said the worker count was much less.

Energy News understands Woodside is meeting with contractors this afternoon.  

Energy News has approached Woodside for comment.

According to the unions, Shell, Inpex and Jadestone have come to arrangements with employees and are providing employees with flexibility and special payments.

"Shell, INPEX, even Jadestone — all have proven that it's possible to balance a response to coronavirus with basic decency to your workforce. For Woodside, an Australian in the market, to fall so short is hugely disappointing," Walton said.

Source: Energy News Bulletin

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