26 Jul 2015

Australian union warns NZ on Chevron job record

7:27 am on 26 July 2015

The Australian Maritime Union is warning the oil company that was the big winner in a government block offer last year has a terrible record for job creation.

Chevron was one of three new companies awarded permits in December to explore the potential for deep-sea oil wells off the eastern North Island.

In May, protesters gathered outside the New Zealand consulate in Perth to urge the Government to reconsider the permits.

Australian Maritime Union deputy secretary Will Tracey was in New Zealand this week speaking with iwi and union members.

He said Chevron had mainly imported cheap labour rather than training local workers during its current stint in Western Australia.

He said the American company failed to live up to its promises.

"If you want to judge Chevron and how it operates, don't judge it on its sales pitch, judge it on its form and its history," he said.

"There were huge promises made in terms of the hiring of local people and sadly this company made commitments in terms of what it was going to do and didn't live up to it."

In a statement, Chevron said it had created 17,000 direct and indirect jobs across Australia and committed more than $40 billion to local businesses.

"More than 800 contracts have been awarded to Australian suppliers as part of the Gorgon and Wheatstone Projects," it said.

It would not say what its plans were for New Zealand.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs