Maritime workers outside BP’s Melbourne office staged a protest against the oil giant’s decision to lay off the Australian crew of the oil tanker British Loyalty, the third local tanker to stop operating along Australia’s coast in nearly as many months, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
BP decided to terminate the contract with the British Loyalty following the closing of a BP Queensland oil refinery. The tanker was ordered to be returned to Singapore, after which the Australian crew will be made redundant.
The British Loyalty’s crew of 36 had a long-running contract to move fuel for BP around the Australian coast. The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) condemned the lay-offs and expressed its concern over an increasing number of foreign-flagged tankers operating in Australian waters.
”Australia should not allow its workers to be undermined by this disgraceful employer behavior. We don’t want our precious marine environment exposed to Flag-of-Convenience ships with their exploited crews and lack of standards,” said MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray.
”The Abbott Government has allowed our fuel security to be placed in the hands of foreign-owned companies who evidently have no regard for Australian workers or Australian interests.”
World Maritime News Staff; Image: MUA