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Australian activists visit USA to consult on Chevron logjam

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The ITF HQ's in London

The ITF HQ’s in London

1 May 2014 – Trade unionists from the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and the MUA (Maritime Union of Australia) have arrived in the USA for an eight day fact-finding and link-building visit to address problems with the giant Chevron oil major.

Shannon O’Keeffe, campaigns director for the ITF’s Sydney, Australia office and Will Tracey, assistant secretary for the MUA’s Western Branch, have travelled from Australia. They will be meeting with activists and community and trade union leaders throughout the San Francisco Bay Area who have been campaigning for justice at Chevron.

The visit follows the launch of an MUA/ITF campaign to build awareness over delays and cost overruns on Chevron’s Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Australia (seehttp://www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/10329/region/1/section/0/order/1 and film at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIKRVjxiYuA). The campaign rebuts attempts to blame Australian labour costs for the project delays and cost overruns on Gorgon.

Paddy Crumlin, ITF president and MUA national secretary, said: “This issue crosses international borders so we have to too. Two of our colleagues have gone to the USA to meet face to face, and build alliances, with people there who are holding Chevron to account in their local communities.”

He continued: “One of our key goals is to get Chevron to meet and negotiate about wages and conditions. The MUA has consistently committed to a functional and long term commitment to productivity within the reach of labour relations, yet every approach we’ve made to Chevron has been rejected. This cannot continue. If the company refuses to talk then we have to take the struggle to its home state.”

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