Chevron's red tape for its doubly deep Aussie job cull

Chevron's 5-month process to trim its Australian workforce twice as hard as its global cuts will now start the musical chairs of allocating spots in the leaner organisation.

Chevron's red tape for its doubly deep Aussie job cull

Today is the last day for Chevron’s 2400 Australian employees to nominate for positions in a trimmed down organisation before four cycles of retrenchment that will see up to about 700 jobs lost.

In early May Chevron Australia managing director Al Williams sent a memo to his workers that operate the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects to expect the organisation to be cut by 20 to 30 per cent.

“With crude prices near 20-year lows and global annual energy demand forecasted to drop by 6 per cent, the largest in 70 years, we have a challenging road ahead to preserve cash in the short-term while protecting value for the long-term,” Mr Williams said.

The suggested reduction is twice as deep as the 10 to 15 per cut Chevon has planned for its global workforce of 45,000.

Chevron has about 2400 employees in Australia according to its 2019 filing with the corporate regulator ASIC.

By the end of September, when Chevron hopes to complete the redundancy process, between 480 and 720 Chevon employees could find themselves competing in an extraordinarily difficult job market, especially for oil and gas specialists.

An email from Chevron management to workers on July 14 seen by Boiling Cold said the design of the smaller organisation was nearly complete and “we are turning our focus to the selection of the workforce that will take our new organisation forward”.

Workers were able to “express their interest in leaving the company and potentially being eligible to receive an exit payment” up to July 15.

Today the “the opportunity to express their job preferences via a questionnaire” closes.

Four cycles of cuts then begin, starting at the top.

“For each position, the Job Owner and Employee Sponsors will assess candidates against the position’s selection criteria and the Job Owner will develop a shortlist of candidates for consideration by the selection team,” the email said.

“The selection team – typically, a diverse group including a leader from the relevant function and an Inclusion Counsellor from another area of the business – will identify the preferred candidate.

“Successful candidates in selection cycles 1 and 2 (leadership positions) will be notified at the completion of these cycles to enable their participation in the selection decisions for cycles 3 and 4.

“We are targeting to complete the selection process and notify employees of cycle 3 and 4 selection outcomes before the end of September.”

By then five months of uncertainty for Chevron’s Australian people will be over.

Main image: QV1 Building in Perth that houses Chevron's Australian headquarters. Source: Peter Milne.