Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Shell to enforce lockout on Prelude as industrial dispute escalates

Shell to enforce lockout on Prelude as industrial dispute escalates

Sean Smith: The West Australian: Wed, 20 July 2022 9:57AM

The dispute over a new pay deal on Shell’s Prelude floating LNG plant off north-west WA has escalated again, with the energy giant flagging it will lock out workers from Monday.

The decision means those workers who are not on Prelude but support the protected industrial action by the Offshore Alliance will not be paid.

Those still on Prelude will only be paid for the time they work outside industrial stoppages.

Shell said the proposed lockout was a consequence of the industrial action, which had disrupted normal operations.

“We have endeavoured to find every option to work around bans and stoppages and find alternate duties for our people to avoid an outcome where our staff and contractors would not be paid,” a spokeswoman said.

“However, following the production shutdown caused by the protected industrial action, we cannot continue to operate in the same way.

“As a consequence, we will be resorting to lock outs as the mechanism available under the Fair Work Act.

“Once the lock outs are in effect, people will no longer be paid if they are not mobilised to the facility.”

The Australian Workers Union, a partner in the Offshore Alliance, argued the lockout could increase the chances of a breakdown on Prelude and would lock in “a loss of production for the future”.

About 10 days ago, Shell said it was demobilising most of the 350 workers on Prelude, nearly 500km off Broome, after deciding to temporarily shut down the project.

The company said that decision reflected the impact of work bans on mooring tankers alongside imposed by members of the Australian Workers Union and the Electrical Trades Union.

Prelude’s storage tanks are now full and cannot be emptied until carriers are once more allowed to take off the LNG.

The unions are battling Shell over a new enterprise agreement for about 270 workers, demanding not only a pay rise but protections to prevent Shell from outsourcing jobs.

Only 5 per cent of voting Prelude workers accepted Shell’s EA offer, despite it including a combined $30,000 increase to the commuting and offshore allowance they would receive.

Unions claim they have attempted to negotiate in good faith, but have been “stonewalled” by Shell management.

Shell counters that the union claims will dramatically increase labour costs on the troubled facility, which has yet to turn a profit since entering production late and over budget in 2019.


This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Comments are closed.