Another Australian ship is being replaced by a foreign one according to the Maritime Union of Australia, as Pacific Aluminium announces its intention to replace CSL Melbourne with a foreign-flagged ship.
The CSL Melbourne, which transports alumina from Gladstone to Newcastle, along with its 16 Aussie crew members will lose their jobs as the company claims the vessel is too big for the route, especially following the closure of Kurri Kurri smelter in 2014.
The Canadian-controlled company CSL Australia has ordered the crew to sail to Singapore, however the crew members refused to sail the vessel.
“We the crew of the CSL Melbourne are asking for genuine responses and commitments before we sail this vessel to Singapore where our jobs will be replaced by highly exploited workers on Flag of Convenience vessels,” the ship’s crew said in a statement.
“Many of us as Australian seafarers will never work again as companies like Pacific Aluminium and the Turnbull Government set out to destroy our industry.”
The crew urged that Pacific Aluminium offers a contract that demands the use of Australian crewed vessels on the Australian coast and stop using “highly exploited crews from the third world.”
“We demand that CSL put us one of their vessels with an international crew that trades regularly on the coast. There are several and it would be a reasonable commitment to the industry by CSL.
We demand that the Turnbull government cancel the Temporary Licences that do away with our jobs,” the statement reads.
The crew further claimed that there has been no appropriate consultation meeting with its officials and crew representatives as part of the escalation process. What is more, the crew members demand an immediate asbestos audit by a qualified and independent expert of the ship following the recent asbestos removal from the bulker, also conducted without consultation.
World Maritime News Staff