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Strike action looms over Aussie projects

Oil and gas operations in Australia are likely to be affected by industrial action that began today with the Martime Union of Australia (MUA) seeking increases in allowances and wages for its members.

Norwegian company Farstad said up to 17 of its 20 vessels working in Australia would be affected by the two-day strike brought on by the MUA. Farstad's vessels are working at a variety of oil and gas fields including Woodside's Pluto project.

Farstad is reportedly the first of 12 shipping companies expected to face industrial action unless the employers agree to the union's claims.

"Any industrial action is always a last resort and taken only after serious consideration and the union has carried out negotiations in good faith," said Paddy Crumlin, national secretary of the MUA.

"The maritime union is seeking to have seafarers engaged in offshore construction to earn the same as riggers on vessels which, subject to negotiations, would be equivalent to an allowance of $200 to $300 and the union is prepared to have the payment phased in."

Source: Upstreamonline.com

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