Miners’ bad behaviour costing jobs
The bad behaviour of workers at one of Australia’s biggest projects has again been brought into focus, after it was revealed almost 30 contractors have been kicked off the $45 billion Wheatstone liquefied natural gas project site in the last year for violence, drunkenness, theft, harassment and damage.
During a successful unfair dismissal claim by one worker, who drunkenly smashed a chalet shower screen during an argument with his partner, bosses of contractor Bechtel admitted that 128 workers had been removed from the site for breaching its own community code. Half of those evictions were because of “violence, threatened violence or aggressive behaviour”, while others were sent home for leaving accommodation trashed and rooms smeared with blood.
About 7500 workers still live onsite at the Wheatstone LNG project, just 12km from Onslow. In the disputed incident from September, $246,000-a-year rigger Jake Clarkin was sacked after a “long, loud and aggressive” argument with his partner which caused other guests at Onslow Sun Chalets and Motel to complain.
Mr Clarkin claimed unfair dismissal, and the Fair Work Commission agreed, ordering him to be reinstated with two months pay docked.
But during the hearing, Bechtel’s employment relations superintendent Adam Leary said “serious public disturbance or serious misconduct in Onslow” would result in the termination or removal of workers.