MUA oil and gas wage demand outrageous: Barnett

A 26 per cent pay rise over four years being demanded by the Maritime Union of Australia has been labelled as ‘off the planet’ by WA Premier Colin Barnett.

Describing the MUA as a dinosaur earlier in the week, Barnett slammed the union’s exorbitant requests, and accused the union of being disruptive.

"The MUA has not behaved in a proper way," he said.

"Outrageous wage claims, deliberate disruption, forcing companies into pressure points by not delivering components on time – that is old fashioned and it does scare away investment."

Western Australian branch secretary, Christy Cain conceded the MUA was seeking a wage increase of 26 per cent, having already secured a 30 per cent rise covering ships servicing offshore oil and gas projects in a previous enterprise agreement, The West Australian reported.

Cain said claims that cooks at a gas hub off the WA coast were being paid $230,000 a year plus penalty rates as a beat up.

Speaking on ABC radio, Cain denied the MUA was preparing for strike action but  said he was ready to fight.

"I am an aggressive negotiator. I have never been an angel, and some people may think I am a dinosaur," Cain said.

"I am an aggressive negotiator. I have never been an angel, and some people may think I am a dinosaur," Mr Cain said.

"We want to work with Chevron, we want to get on with BHP, we want to get on with Esso and Woodside – but not one of them has actually sat down with us.

"We are a strong union, a powerful union but I think a fair union."

Barnett said the MUA’s behaviour would scare major investors off.

"That sort of behaviour belongs in the 1970s," he said.

Image: watoday.com.au

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.