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Thousands of workers have marched on US energy giant Chevron’s headquarters in Perth demanding the company do more to provide local jobs and training.
Organisers estimated the combined union protest drew around 4,000 to 5,000 people, with workers banging drums and shouting slogans.
According to AAP security was tight, with Chevron locking the doors to its QV1 Building entrance while police blocked main roads.
Office workers across the road from Chevron’s building tweeted live images of the action as it unfolded.
Demonstrators appeared to spill out onto the streets as the building’s small entrance overflowed with protestors.
The unions are demanding multinational mining companies like Chevron end the practise of importing cheap labour under temporary working visas.
They say the jobs should be allocated to locals, and more training should be provided to bring willing but unskilled workers up to speed.
According to AAP Chevron responded to the unions by pointing out it had struck many deals with local businesses.
It said its two major WA gas projects, Gorgon and Wheatstone, would create around 16,500 Australian jobs.
Chevron said Gorgon’s construction would also deliver $20 billion in Australian Industry Participation.
Earlier this week reports surfaced that the Department of Immigration was investigating claims overseas workers on the Gorgon project had been rorting the visa system.
According to reports from The West Australian the overseas workers were employed by Chevron contractor Allseas.
Allseas has already faced allegations earlier this year it was employing European workers and paying them inferior wages.
Yesterday’s protest was the latest in a string of union organised demonstrations in Perth over local content.
While WA is currently experiencing the expansion of a number of large resources projects parts of Perth are still experiencing double digit unemployment levels.
Earlier this year unions put pressure on the Sate Government over the issue by marching on the WA Parliament.
Video — Yesterday’s union protest: WA Business News