Chevron Australia, LNG unions to meet for mediated talks

(Reuters) - Chevron and unions representing workers at its two Australian LNG facilities will meet for talks on Wednesday after the oil and gas major asked the industrial arbitrator to help close a deal as workers threaten to restart strikes.

Chevron and unions will meet at 10.30 a.m. AWST (0230 GMT) for talks with Commissioner Bernie Riordan, according to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) website. Riordan helped broker an in-principle agreement last month that ended weeks of strikes at the Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities.

But efforts to turn those principles into a legally binding agreement faltered last week when unions accused Chevron of reneging on commitments. Unions said on Monday strikes would resume on Oct. 19.

In response Chevron said it was committed to a deal and only a small number of issues remained, including how travel and meal expenses are reimbursed and cabin sharing on the Wheatstone offshore platform.

Chevron on Tuesday referred Reuters to its comments from the night before.

Unions have told Chevron and the FWC they would walk away from September's agreement in the event of amendments which lower worker entitlements, a union official involved in the talks told Reuters.

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