An Australian gas giant has stood down more than 400 workers today without pay and notice in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Unions have called the action an “Act of Bastardry”
According to the Offshore Alliance, Australian gas giant Woodside has broken ranks with its competitors – like Shell, INPEX, and Jadestone – to commit a brutal act of industrial bastardry on its workforce by immediately standing down more than 400 workers without pay of any kind.
The Union Alliance made up from the AWU and Maritime Union of Australia members said over 400 contractor employees from Woodside’s Goodwyn and North Rankin platforms, along with Woodside floating production storage and offloading units, have been summarily stood down without pay.
“Woodside’s approach stands in stark contrast to that of competitors Shell and INPEX, both of whom consulted with employees to minimise the impact of COVID-19 measures by providing additional flexibility and special payments. Even Jadestone, a relatively small company in the industry, came to fair arrangements with workers during this difficult period” it said in a statement.
“Today’s decision by Woodside is maybe the most heartless corporate response we’ve seen to the COVID-19 crisis to date,” said Offshore Alliance spokesperson and Australian Workers’ Union National Secretary Daniel Walton.
“To just bring down the axe on 400 workers without a whisper of consultation, or the suggestion of special arrangements, is unconscionable.
“This is a company that announced a $1.3 billion dollar profit in 2018. There is zero need for them to treat their offshore workers this callously.
“The COVID-19 crisis is hurting all of us and changes will be necessary. But how we respond is the measure of our decency. Woodside have made a huge moral blunder here. The impetus now is for them to own up and fix their mistake.
“Shell, INPEX, even Jadestone — all have proven that it’s possible to balance a response to coronavirus with basic decency to your workforce. For Woodside, an Australian in the market, to fall so short is hugely disappointing.
“The Offshore Alliance will be fighting tooth and nail to get Woodside to the table and extract a commitment from them for their workers.”
A statement has not been issued at this time by Woodside. Woodside’s share price has almost halved in recent days.
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