Global daily news 12.05.2015

Perth protest rally targets oil and gas giant Chevron’s New Zealand operation

A large and noisy rally targeting offshore hydrocarbon corporation Chevron has taken place outside the New Zealand consulate in Perth this morning.

The protest was called by the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) and International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) to alert the New Zealand public to the poor practices of Chevron, that have led to major disputes in the Australian offshore oil and gas industry and around the world.

Chevron are a new entrant into the New Zealand oil and gas industry and it was recently awarded three offshore exploration permits in the Pegasus Basin, in partnership with StatOil. Chevron is the operator.

Chevron is the operator of Australia’s largest LNG (liquified natural gas) project Gorgon, on the remote northern coast of Western Australia, which has disappointed local communities by failing to meet commitments for local jobs and to local businesses, poor safety and other conditions for workers, massive cost overruns and project mismanagement in its construction phase.

A letter was presented to the Consulate for the New Zealand Government detailing workers concerns at the way Chevron operates.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the presence of Chevron is not welcomed by New Zealand maritime workers.

“Our members work in this industry, we support responsible drilling with high safety standards, but we do not support companies that have a bad environmental record and anti-worker agenda entering our industry.”

Mr Fleetwood says the natural resources of New Zealand must be used to the benefit of New Zealand workers and the people of New Zealand, not simply to boost profits for multinational operators.

ITF President Paddy Crumlin says Chevron have a record of anti-worker activities and other bad practices in their global operations.

“We are alerting the New Zealand public that this operator has a very dubious record and Australian workers have experienced that first hand.”

The rally was the first step in the New Zealand link in what has become a global campaign to demand Chevron respect the communities they operate in.