CFMEU - Mining and Energy Division
700 jobs to go as Shell shuts Clyde oil refinery
Workers have been shocked by Shell’s announcement today it will cease production at its Clyde oil refinery in September, unions said today.
The closure affects nearly 300 direct employees and more than 400 contractors as well as downstream industries relying on by-products of the refinery like plastics manufacturing.
“Workers had expected another 12 months of employment under the staged shut-down Shell had already put in place,” said AMWU NSW Secretary Tim Ayres.
“The closure is a blow to jobs, it’s a blow to NSW industry and it puts our state’s fuel security at risk.”
The Shell site will be turned into an import-only terminal. Caltex has flagged closing NSW’s only other oil refinery at Kurnell.
The NSW Government had not lifted a finger to ensure a viable long-term future for the refinery, said Mr Ayres.
“This refinery is critical infrastructure for NSW. There is a clear public interest in its continued operation. If Shell doesn’t want to operate this refinery, a process should be put in place to give another operator the opportunity.
“This closure will have knock-on affects across the NSW economy.”
Refinery operator and CFMEU Mining and Energy workplace delegate Wally de Vecchis said workers were gutted by today’s announcement.
“Shell have been telling them all along that they’ll have 12 months, so it’s come as a big surprise.”
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