“The actions of the MUA today have literally thrown the assurances previously made by ACTU Leader, Sharon Burrow, about wage restraint, overboard.” Mr Knott said.
AMMA Chief Executive, Steve Knott, described the MUA’s reluctance to take a sensible approach to negotiations “an immense disappointment to the company and a worrying precedent to the industry and the economy.”
“The MUA’s destructive cash grab and determination to bypass reasonable discussion could have dire consequences on the recovery of Australia’s off-shore oil and gas industry.” Mr Knott said.
The estimated value of production of the oil and gas sector to the Australian economy is $30 billion dollars.
He said AMMA was also deeply concerned about the precedent this dispute had set.
“Given the outlandish nature of the claim put by the MUA - the ease with which they were able to be issued secret ballot orders to pave the way for protected action shows a significant flaw in existing industrial relations laws.
“It would appear that under the Fair Work Act an irresponsible union can take protected industrial action no matter how outlandish or frivolous their claim.” said Mr Knott.
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An urgent meeting of Fair Work Australia organised to head-off two days of potential strike action in the oil and gas sector has concluded with the MUA still intent on taking action for two days commencing on Tuesday - after nearly a decade of industrial harmony.