More than 650 workers left jobless as second Inpex contractor walks off the project

The ETU has slammed JKC and Inpex for mismanagement of major contracts on the Itchys Project, after a second subcontractor walked off the project in less than two months.

More than 650 Laing O’Rourke workers were made redundant by the subcontractor on Wednesday morning, following parent contractor Kawasaki’s failure to pay for any of their work on the cryogenic tanks aspect of the Inpex project since November of 2016.

Kawasaki are believed to owe Laing O’Rourke $170 million for the work.

ETU Queensland and NT Organiser David Hayes said Kawasaki’s mismanagement had thrown hundreds of families into disarray.

He called into question JKC and Inpex’s disgraceful handling of major contracts on the Itchys project, following subcontractor UGL’s decision to walk out of their unviable power plant contract in January.

“We’ve seen the contract of works on the power station fail, causing the loss of significant numbers of workers’ employment, with many months of work still to be done,” he said.

“Now another subcontractor has left due to payment issues on another contract.

“JKC and Inpex need to address how these contracts can so catastrophically fall apart, throwing families into uncertainty.”

With a substantial amount of work left to complete on the project, Mr Hayes said in recent days Kawasaki had been approaching Laing O’Rourke staff about coming to work for the contractor directly.

“How can the workers on any part of the Itchys Project feel any type of security in their role when they’ve seen their fellow workers can be displaced at the drop of the hat?” he said.

“With two major contracts folding in a matter of months, workers employed by other contractors would obviously be wondering what the future holds for them.”