“Woodside likes to boast about what number of Western Australians it employs, however as quickly because the going will get robust it dumps 1200 staff.”
Woodside’s whole job losses are in dispute, nevertheless.
The Australian Employees’ Union claimed in March final yr the corporate had sacked 400 offshore staff, 400 Karratha gasoline plant staff and 100 Pluto gasoline plant staff.
The Australian Monetary Evaluate reported sources estimating the offshore job losses have been nearer to 150, not 400.
Woodside denied any losses at Pluto and declined to offer figures for Karratha, although it confirmed a “troublesome resolution” to defer nonessential works there.
In October, Woodside confirmed it had reduce one other 300 jobs.
Woodside now says it has restarted a few of this work with the outcome that its annual report exhibits solely 185 fewer staff in 2020 than in 2019.
“Woodside took decisive actions to guard our individuals and property, make sure the monetary integrity of our companies and keep employment for as many individuals as doable,” a spokeswoman mentioned.
“All through 2020, Woodside labored with our contractors to remobilise a big variety of staff.”
Requested in the event that they have been employed beneath the identical situations, a spokeswoman mentioned: “Our contractors stay accountable for all employment-related issues in respect of their staff.”
A Chevron spokeswoman mentioned the corporate adjusted its enterprise in response to the impacts of COVID-19. Its priorities have been employee security and the upkeep of pure gasoline provide.
Concerning the Gorgon emissions discount system, like “any pioneering endeavour” it had introduced some challenges. The corporate was nonetheless engaged on it and had employed the suitable staff for this, the spokeswoman mentioned.
Whereas the Woodside job loss numbers may be decrease than the union claimed, losses from different firms may equally drive the overall greater.
Exxon Mobil introduced voluntary redundancies final September, including in Perth. Additionally that month Shell introduced 7000-9000 job losses globally with out specifying the place. Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility in WA spent most of 2020 offline attributable to technical points.
Shell and the union couldn’t be contacted for remark.
Hopes pinned on ‘gas-fired restoration’, however is gasoline a jobs maker?
Australian employers as an entire stood by their staff by means of 2020 however the multinational-dominated gasoline trade was a notable exception, Mr Ogge mentioned.
The ABS figures confirmed the 10.5 per cent discount in gasoline jobs contrasted with a discount of only one.7 per cent in Australian industries as an entire.
“If the federal government is severe about creating jobs with its JobMaker plan, it might be higher off backing practically any [other] trade,” Mr Ogge mentioned.
For JobMaker, the federal authorities will spend $53 million from 2020-2024 to “assist a gas-fired restoration”.
This contains funding for analysis, a nationwide gasoline infrastructure plan (out for public remark till Friday) which may include underwriting and subsidising new pipelines and projects and accelerating gasoline growth in 5 precedence geological basins.
The primary of those is Beetaloo within the Northern Territory, and for this the federal government has additionally additional dedicated greater than $225 million for exploration subsidies and roads.
However Mr Ogge mentioned the JobMaker moniker was ironic given the trade was not a significant employer; it made up 1.7 per cent of the WA workforce and solely zero.2 per cent of the Australian workforce.
Claire Wilkinson, director of the Australian Petroleum Manufacturing and Exploration Affiliation WA, mentioned the pandemic had hit the sector onerous.
International power demand fell considerably in 2020 and oil costs fell greater than 75 per cent within the first 4 months.
Ms Wilkinson mentioned the trade protected staff whereas offering dependable power in addition to greater than $50 billion export revenue and royalties, whilst a lot of the economic system shut down.
“It’s the oil and gasoline trade’s capability to proceed to supply power safety and stimulate progress in different industries that place it in a novel place to assist drive Australia’s post-COVID-19 financial restoration,” she mentioned.
She mentioned the Productivity Commission found the gasoline trade had low ranges of direct authorities assist however however a excessive contribution to the economic system.
Emma Younger is a WAtoday reporter specializing in environmental points, city planning, social justice and the humanities. She has received eight WA Media Awards, together with the Matt Value Award for Finest Columnist.