The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has slammed claims by LNG industry leaders that unions are to blame for driving up pay rates without considering productivity.
The union said energy companies are tying to find a scapegoat for their ‘own mismanagement’.
The world’s biggest energy companies gathered in Brisbane on Sunday for the sector’s annual conference, where the theme centred around the need for better policies to ensure the LNG industry in Australia did not collapse.
The conference heard tens of thousands of jobs could be lost along with billions in potential revenue if the LNG industry did not become more competitive.
One of the biggest concerns was unions driving up pay rates.
AMWU boss Steve McCartney said pay rises in the sector had not been exorbitant and averaged only five per cent a year over the past ten years.
McCartney pointed to a study by the University of Queensland and Ernst & Young which found companies in the oil and gas sector do not measure productivity.
“Most oil and gas companies don’t even analyse their own productivity rates, yet have the hide to criticise Australian workers for being less productive,” he said.
“Maybe if the bosses had their huge remuneration packages better linked to their own productivity we’d see better results on project costs.
“This is nothing more than the latest in a long line of baseless attempts by LNG industry bosses to find scapegoats for their own shortcomings.”
Chevron Australia's managing director Roy Krzywosinski said the country needs a stable Federal tax regime, a lift in productivity and a review of IR laws to get another wave of LNG projects.
Last year Chevron reported a cost blowout of $9 billion at it’s Gorgon Project, taking development costs to $52 billion.