Esso Bass Strait threat

Thursday 16th June 2016

The Australian Workers’ Union has attacked Exxon-Mobil for news it may “quietly pull the plug” on Bass Strait after more than 50 years, without any forewarning to workers and the communities which have served it.

 

AWU Victorian Secretary Ben Davis said it was “disturbing in the extreme” that business pages of major media yesterday carried a story that Exxon-Mobil was looking to sell declining oilfields along with some exploration and development assets in the Strait.

 

“At the very least, the workers who have built their lives around employment with Esso, and the communities that have served it, deserve to be given the nod before a quiet leak to media,” Mr Davis said.

 

“It brings into sharp contrast the David and Goliath nature of the employment relationship.” 

 

Mr Davis said Esso workers offshore and at Longford, Barry Beach and Long Island Point had been in negotiation towards new Enterprise Agreements for more than 18 months, with the multinational giant throwing legal obstacles in the path at regular intervals.

 

“It is not appropriate for a multinational company to use its might to overpower and overcome community and worker rights. This latest announcement, released quietly as it was, could be interpreted as another attempt to keep people in line,” he said.

 

“Exxon Mobil may not have right on its side but it certainly has resources.”

 

The corporation then known as Esso, started operations in Bass Strait in 1964 and had the distinction of being the longest tail oil asset in the Exxon Mobil stable. 

 

“By any standard of decency, the community and the Esso workforce should be briefed at every step of what could be a challenging, and for some, a devastating time,” Mr Davis said.

The Australian Workers’ Union has attacked Exxon-Mobil for news it may “quietly pull the plug” on Bass Strait after more than 50 years, without any forewarning to workers and the communities which have served it.

 

AWU Victorian Secretary Ben Davis said it was “disturbing in the extreme” that business pages of major media yesterday carried a story that Exxon-Mobil was looking to sell declining oilfields along with some exploration and development assets in the Strait.

 

“At the very least, the workers who have built their lives around employment with Esso, and the communities that have served it, deserve to be given the nod before a quiet leak to media,” Mr Davis said.

 

“It brings into sharp contrast the David and Goliath nature of the employment relationship.” 

 

Mr Davis said Esso workers offshore and at Longford, Barry Beach and Long Island Point had been in negotiation towards new Enterprise Agreements for more than 18 months, with the multinational giant throwing legal obstacles in the path at regular intervals.

 

“It is not appropriate for a multinational company to use its might to overpower and overcome community and worker rights. This latest announcement, released quietly as it was, could be interpreted as another attempt to keep people in line,” he said.

 

“Exxon Mobil may not have right on its side but it certainly has resources.”

 

The corporation then known as Esso, started operations in Bass Strait in 1964 and had the distinction of being the longest tail oil asset in the Exxon Mobil stable. 

 

“By any standard of decency, the community and the Esso workforce should be briefed at every step of what could be a challenging, and for some, a devastating time,” Mr Davis said.