Unions at Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas unit in Australia have extended their strike until1 September over a pay dispute, the company said on Thursday. 

In July, Shell shut down the 3.6 million tonnes per year site. The supply of liquified natural gas (LNG) cargoes was halted for the duration of the strike, which Australia’s Fair Work Commission approved as the strike is a form of Protected Industrial Action. 

Work halts began on 10 June, and no cargoes have been shipped from the site in almost five weeks, exacerbating a global LNG supply crunch caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

The Offshore Alliance, which represents employees from the Australian Workers’ Union and the Maritime Union of Australia, announced on Facebook that it would continue to strike until it reached a new enterprise bargaining agreement with Shell. 

The unions’ demand that Shell will not outsource jobs to contractors at lower rates than they pay their employees for the same jobs is one of the main outstanding issues, according to the alliance.

According to union secretary Dan Walton, the body has written to the regulator about safety concerns for over a year. 

In July, Shell wrote in a letter that they would pay pro-rata for those doing partial work because of the stoppages. 

The Offshore Alliance said: “Our Prelude members have drawn a line in the sand on job security and have this week supported the extension of Protected Industrial Action until our bargaining claims are resolved.”