Australian seafarers stage another protest

Australian seafarers stage another protest

Another protest against foreign crews is underway in Australia. Seafarers from the CSL Melbourne have refused to depart for Singapore as they fight changing cabotage laws. The crew are the second ship this year to fight back at likely redundancies, following on from the Portland. The seafarers of the bulker were pictured on deck in Newcastle wearing tshirts stating they had been “Sacked for being Australian”.

The crew of the Canada Steamship Lines vessel will be replaced in Singapore with foreign seafarers.

Canberra has awarded a special licence to allow the charterer of the Pacific Aluminium to use a foreign vessel on the route.

“We feel compelled to make a statement at this critical time for Australian shipping,” the crew said in a joint statement. “Amongst us there is many, many years of years of seagoing experience thrown on the scrap heap and replaced by a cheap, highly exploited foreign crew. We demand that the Turnbull government cancel the ‘temporary licences’ that do away with our jobs.”

CSL Australia, the Australian operating arm of the Canadian line, said it had decided to reassign the CSL Melbourne to international trades.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Mike Cunningham
    February 1, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Seems as though Australia, and especially the Australian seafaring and dockside unions have morphed into something approaching a neutered, old, toothless and mangy lion which is kept in a zoo for old times sake.

    When a young man, I sailed into Oz waters, and the first thing we learnt was the truth that the Unions ruled the dock sides, and the ships, with a good-humoured rod of stainless steel. Nothing got by the stevedore unions, from any attempt to use out-dated lifting strops and gear, to allowing a ship to leave if it was below its plimsoll marks.

    Seems to me that if such a blatant attempt to strip Australian seafarers of jobs and replace them with cheap foreign labour had happened forty-five years ago, every port would have been ‘struck’, and that strike would have been 100% solid. The pansified approach by today’s unions, together with the milksops who call themselves Australians today, seemingly a shadow of their former selves, means they ought to set themselves out in the grass, cover themselves over with a large white flag, and simply state,’Its all yours, Mate’ for all the good they are doing these days,