Australian unions are up in arms at another firm ditching a locally flagged ship in favour of a foreign-crewed one.
Aluminium producer Alcoa has decided to offload the elderly Portland bulker and use a foreign-manned vessel between Bunbury and Kwinana and Portland. Alcoa cited cost savings it could make from not using the 27-year-old vessel anymore.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is threatening federal court action over the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development decision to grant Alcoa a temporary licence last month to allow a foreign crew to do the work.
MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said: “Australian workers are being rewarded yet again by this government in complicity with this company for their loyalty, hard-work and professionalism with the sack and forced to watch a foreign workforce be imported to do their job. It’s a national disgrace.”
The MUA has been fighting a losing battle of late to keep Australian seafarers employed.