Please enter your email address to change your password.

INPEX workers back standout Enterprise Agreement

April 29, 2022

Workers at Japanese oil and gas producer INPEX’s Australian offshore and onshore facilities have overwhelmingly backed a new enterprise agreement negotiated by the Offshore Alliance.

The comprehensive EA covers 369 workers across three facilities and includes huge improvements compared to the baseline deal it replaces.

“This is the first enterprise agreement the Offshore Alliance has struck with a Tier 1 operator and the conditions it contains are outstanding,” AWU National Secretary Dan Walton says.

“The Alliance stared down a huge multinational with an army of lawyers and walked away with a strong outcome that will serve as a benchmark for agreements with other Tier 1 operators.”

Key wins include:

  • New 12-classification structure classifications (up from two).
  • Base rates of pay of $125,000 to $258,000 plus allowances (replacing previous baseline structure of only $92,000-$102,000).
  • New job security provisions.
  • Significantly increased redundancy provisions – from NES to 105 weeks.
  • Rosters locked in and cannot be changed without majority employee agreement.
  • New $10,000 annual travel allowance.
  • New payment for training days.
  • Increased overcycle to 135% for all hours.
  • Increased superannuation entitlement, increasing to 13% by 2025.
  • New income protection insurance.
  • Improved dispute resolution procedures and rights.
  • $22,000 a year increase to the offshore allowance (now $78,000).
  • Guaranteed annual wage increases.
  • Employees seconded to office work will keep operations allowances for the whole secondment (up to a maximum 24 months).
  • Interstate FIFO employees will continue with INPEX until at least 2030 (a six-year extension).

Deal negotiations kicked off in early 2020 when the OA asked INPEX to begin bargaining.

When the company refused, the OA applied to the Fair Work Commission for a majority support determination, after collecting hundreds of petitions from employees across the three INPEX facilities.

The company aggressively opposed the application and in February 2021 the FWC upheld the second of two INPEX appeals to decisions relating to the application.

The OA pushed on by collecting new petitions and, when INPEX moved to conduct an independent ballot to determine support for bargaining, workers resoundingly voted “yes”.

INPEX signalled it would bargain, but the company decided it would meet employee bargaining representatives separately from union representatives.

The OA strongly and openly opposed this, the company backed down, and in June the first bargaining meeting began.

INPEX wanted a baseline agreement with minimum conditions far below workers’ actual conditions of employment, but the Alliance would only accept a comprehensive deal with actual terms and conditions of employment, so that they were fixed and secure.

INPEX continued to hold out on key bargaining items and wanted to quickly move toward a local-only workforce model, which would involve terminating the employment of all interstate FIFO employees by 2024, something the OA was resolutely against.

Alliance members took protected industrial action on February 16 in the form of work stoppages and a ban on overcycle, and in March, in-principle agreement for the INPEX – Ichthys Operations Enterprise Agreement 2022-2026 was reached, with 87% of employees endorsing it.

“The Alliance is member-led and its results speak for themselves,” Mr Walton said. “It has now negotiated more than 25 in-term enterprise agreements in the hydrocarbons sector, with more on the way.

“The Offshore Alliance is the offshore oil and gas union, and everyone working in the sector should join.”

Be a part of our community.

Join The Offshore Alliance

Stronger together.