FAMILIES of underpaid Australian ExxonMobil workers gathered outside the senate in Canberra yesterday to demand that the transnational oil giant pay its taxes.
Executives faced a grilling by senators over the company’s 100 per cent tax avoidance.
A report published yesterday by the Tax Justice Network revealed that ExxonMobil had paid no tax in two years.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (Actu) said the firm, which owns the Esso brand, had tried to drive down wages and conditions of workers at its Longford and offshore sites.
At the same time, ExxonMobil has been trying to worsen the pay and conditions of workers in Victoria, who have been on strike for over 166 days.
Actu president Ged Kearney said the Tax Justice Network report showed there was “one rule for massive corporations, who can pick and choose how much tax they pay and how they treat their workers, and another for everyone else.
“The report published today shows that ExxonMobil might be avoiding tax in even more outlandish ways than Chevron, which was hauled before the inquiry last year and forced to pay millions of dollars” by the Australian Tax Office.
Mr Kearney said the workers’ families were “calling on the government to make sure ExxonMobil pays their fair share of tax and treats their workers properly.
“These workers are asking for their basic rights to be protected, and that these big companies be held to account,” he stressed.
He praised Actu affiliates ETU, AWU and AMWU for holding ExxonMobil to account, adding: “When working people stand together, we can take on any employer, even the biggest multinationals.”