San Francisco-based engineering firm Bechtel secured an injunction Wednesday from the Federal Court of Australia against a group of striking workers at its US$ 65.13 billion (AUD 70 billion) LNG projects in Queensland, Australia.
The strike is led by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and began last Thursday.
It has disrupted construction work at the three LNG sites projects located on Curtis Island.
The projects are led by BG Group, Virginia-based Santos and Australia-based Origin Energy.
The injunction is against CFMEU and 72 named individuals.
Those named in the injunction may now be imprisoned or punished for contempt if they engage in or try to organize more industrial actions, the Australian Financial Review said Wednesday.
There are competing reports of how many workers are striking.
CFMEU said about 2,000 to 3,000 workers are striking.
Bethchel said 2,000 employees were “impacted” by the strike but only 200 workers have actively been involved.
About 13,000 construction workers are employed at the three sites.
The privately-held Betchel is the primary construction contractor for the three projects.
The first site was expected to begin production in December 2014.
However, if the strike continues Betchel may have to move the target production date.
The strike was prompted by a dispute between union workers and Betchel.
Union members want shorter work cycles for fly-in-fly out workers, the Australian Financial Review said.
Betchel said that the scale of the projects makes shorter work cycles difficult to implement.
Three other unions are also involved in the strike.
Two previous agreements proposed by Betchel have been voted down by the workers.
The other unions involved said they will take protected industrial action if the Betchel’s third offer, up for vote later this week, also gets voted down.