Esso Contractors in Australia Win Family Rosters

Construction contractors across Esso's oil and gas fields in Bass Strait today won the right to keep their 7-day rosters in a breakthrough agreement with construction contractor Kellogg Brown and Root.

The Australian Workers' Union said that the new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement approved by a mass meeting of workers on Tuesday, February 1st was a victorious end to a 19-month campaign by the AWU, AMWU and ETU against Esso's plans to introduce 14-day rosters.

AWU National Secretary Bill Shorten welcomed the agreement and congratulated the workers - who are employed by Esso's contractors - on their resilience in standing up for family friendly working conditions.

"By allowing the workers to continue with the 7-day rosters, the new agreement vindicates the struggle of AWU, AMWU and ETU members and represents a significant back down by employers. Workers, particularly fathers, who have based their family lives around the 7-day roster for years will be able to maintain their family responsibilities without the needless disruption of the 14-day rosters," Mr. Shorten said.

The agreement prevents any changes to the rosters of the workers employed by Esso's contractors unless the rosters of Esso's direct employees are changed first. "If Esso wants to change its rosters now, it will have to do the right thing and convince its own employees, instead of trying to go around the back door and pick on vulnerable contractors," Mr. Shorten said.

The agreement covers around 300 offshore and on-shore construction workers employed by Esso contractors Kellog, Brown and Root and Corke Instrument Engineering (and their subcontractors) working on Esso's oil and gas rigs in the Bass Strait, off Victoria's Gippsland coast.

The EBA provides a 15% wage increase over three years plus a $3,500 retrospective allowance for each worker in lieu of pay rises over the 19 months since the expiry of the previous agreement. Other benefits include a 1% parity payment for offshore workers, an all-purpose site allowance of $1.70 per hour and an increase in travel allowances.