Teekay tanker crew protests ordered to stop

Athens: Industrial action onboard a Teekay products tanker docked in Tasmania must stop, Australia’s Fair Work Commission has ordered.

The 36 crew refused to sail the Alexander Spirit (40,100 dwt, built 2007) to Singapore from Devonport last Friday, after being told they will be made redundant on arrival in favour of foreign workers, who can be paid less.

Commissioner Ian Cambridge said the dispute constituted unprotected industrial action and ordered it to cease, Australian reports say. Teekay, which owns the MR coastal tanker, requested the order.

The psychological distress of some crew members was not grounds for an exemption under Australia’s Fair Work Act, Cambridge ruled.

“What I’m angry about is the fact that we’ve got a Federal Government – the Abbott Liberal Government – that’s supporting these foreign oil companies in getting rid of Australian workers, that’s what makes me mad,” seafarer Matt Leach told ABC. “The Fair Work Act … it ain’t that fair.”

Yesterday, around 200 protestors marched through Devonport in solidarity with the crew’s strike.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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