The Morrison Government is refusing to step in to safeguard the Australian shipping industry, as workers fired by BHP and BlueScope last week return home to Brisbane.
The decision by the mining giants to end a century of Australian-crewed iron shipping has left 80 Australian seafarers on two vessels without a job.
The sacked Australian workers will be replaced by exploited international crews paid as little as $2 per hour.
The multi-national miners have destroyed an industry which provided secure fair-paying local jobs, while the Morrison Government has looked on and done nothing.
Press Conference with crew of BHP vessel
When: 7am, Friday 25 January 2019
Where: Brisbane Airport (International Arrivals, Level 2)
Who: Crew members of MV Mariloula, MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith, and ACTU President Michele O'Neil
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“We need action to save the Australian shipping industry, but this government will always put corporate greed ahead of Australian workers.
“These workers deserve better than this government, which has done nothing to defend their jobs.
“We call on the Morrison Government to match the ALPs commitment to have more Australian crew on more Australian flagged ships.
“The prime minister likes to talk about the fair go, but here we have workers being sacked, and replaced with international crews who will likely be exposed to horrendous conditions and paid virtually nothing. Nothing about this is fair.
“We have to change the rules to protect local jobs and ensure that we have a shipping industry into the future.”