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Strikes a 'national economic threat': ACCI

Strikes a 'national economic threat': ACCI article image
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has labelled shipping strikes in the oil and gas sector a "national economic threat" following yet another stop-work strike by Maritime Union members. Since November, stoppages have affected operations of companies such as Woodside Petroleum and Chevron, which have both benefited from expansion in the sector. Union members have demanded higher wages. "Regrettably, this two-month strike has now morphed from a local dispute to one threatening our national economic interest and thus requiring immediate government intervention," said ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson. Anderson said he feared the strikes could damage Australia's international business relationships. "You can't underestimate the damage that is done if Australia isn't seen as a reliable supplier in this industry. The government should be taking clear and decisive leadership to bring about an end to this dispute." The CEO said the demand for a 30 percent pay rise over three years was "excessive and undeliverable". The workers want the rise to parallel that of construction workers on offshore oil and gas projects, an increase for up to $100,000 per employee per year, according to the ACCI.

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