MUA Takes Concerns Over Chevron to US Consul
The Maritime Union of Australia has recently delivered a letter to the US Consul General asking for a meeting to voice its concerns about the practices of mining giant Chevron.
The letter, written by MUA WA Secretary Chris Cain, outlines the union’s concerns about Chevron’s corporate responsibility, both in Australian and the United States.
Cain said an MUA delegation had recently traveled to the US to meet with communities and activists who had been campaigning to make Chevron accountable.
“What the delegation learned was that Chevron is very aggressive towards any community, environment or labor group that is active around its operations,” said Cain.
“I was shocked to learn that when the Richmond Refinery had an explosion last year, 14,000 residents went to hospital and almost 17 workers were killed. As a consequence of this, Chevron is now on probation and subject to USD$1 million in fines.”
Cain said the MUA had serious concerns about a similar incident occurring in Australia, and had sought a meeting with the Consul General to raise concerns about Chevron’s way of doing business.
“We are particularly concerned about Chevron’s actions towards our members working on the Gorgon Project, which is one of the world’s largest natural gas projects,” he said.
“Since the start of the project, Chevron has targeted our members by attempting to undermine the wages and conditions for seafarers, stevedores and divers and attempting to avoid employing MUA members or potential members.”
Cain said as the representative of the US government in Perth, the Consul General had a responsibility to encourage US-Australia trade, and needed to understand Chevron’s operations for the perspective of the thousands of workers employed on its projects.