SHARE
Image courtesy of ExxonMobil Australia.

A work schedule dispute between ExxonMobil and offshore workers at an Australia oil and gas project could result in a sizable pay cut.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Exxon has applied to Australia’s Fair Work Commission to terminate two of its expired pay agreements that cover over 700 workers at its Bass Strait projects.

Exxon Australia told the Australian Business Review that the applications follow over 50 failed bargaining meetings with unions representing workers at Bass Strait.

Offshore workers at the project have rejected a schedule change proposed by Exxon that would call for 14 days on the job and 14 days off.

The unions have also opposed proposed headcount reductions at the Longford and Long Island Point gas plant, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

Australian Workers Union (AWU) state secretary Ben Davis told the paper that Exxon could cut pay by 40 percent if the agreements are terminated.

Exxon has not confirmed if it will cut pay or how large pay cuts would be.

The pay agreements will stay in place while the Fair Work Commission considers the applications.

Exxon has said it won’t cut pay for six months if the agreements are terminated.

The AWU intends to contest Exxon’s attempt to terminate the agreements in court, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

Esso Australia, an Exxon subsidiary, operates the Bass Strait venture.

Esso and BHP Billiton Petroleum (Bass Strait) Pty. Ltd. each have a 50 percent interest in the project.