The fight to keep Australian seafarers employed in the face of cheaper overseas alternatives took to the senate today with harsh words traded.
The current government is trying to relax laws to allow more foreign crews to operate in Australian waters, something that has been bitterly contested.
The Maritime Union of Australia estimated 1944 jobs would disappear if the government pushes ahead with its law changes.
“We would say, ‘Leave it to the Manila department of transport to do’,” International Transport Workers Federation national secretary Padraig Crumlin told the senate inquiry.
Meanwhile, five Australian crew who have refused to leave their ship, CSL Melbourne, since last week in opposition to an incoming foreign crew change are expected to have their fate decided today at the federal court in Sydney.
CSL Australia, a subsidiary of Canada Steamship Lines, has filed an application in the federal court to order the removal of the seafarers. The ship will head to Singapore after a charter expired locally and the Australian crew will be replaced by a cheaper alternative.