How could it have come to this?
Yesterday at 8.45am at Kooragang wharf at the Port of Newcastle, 20 Australian police forcible evicted the last 5 of 16 sacked Australian crew aboard Australian coastal bulk shipping service the ‘CSL Melbourne‘.
This follows a Federal Court ruling the afternoon prior by the Fair Work Commission that executed the decision by employer CSL Group (Canada Steamship Lines) to sack all of its 16 Aussie workforce and immediately replace them with cheaper two-bit scab labour flown in from the Third World.
The Commission rejected the right of the defiant five Australians to keep their jobs, stating that the crew’s refusal to disembark in Newcastle amounted to what it branded “illegal industrial action“. The Maritime Union of Australia says the Australian crew’s protest in refusing to leave their ship has stemmed from being told they would lose their jobs when the ship owner, CSL Group, sends the ship to Singapore.
“At CSL, we value integrity, ethical conduct, a safe, respectful and healthy workplace, and sustainable and responsible business practices.”
For the past five years, Pacific Aluminium, a subsidiary company of mining giant Rio Tinto, has contracted foreign Canadian-owed bulk ship service to transport its bulk alumina from Gladstone in Australian waters to its Tomago smelter near Newcastle. It is Australian produce transported through Australian coastal waters by an Australian crew. Business is good and the Aussie crew running bulk carrier CSL Melbourne rightly expected their tenure to be reliably secure.
However Pacific Aluminium announced last week that to increase profit levels it was ending the shipping contract with the CSL Group and replacing the service with another foreign one using cheaper foreign Third World crews. Between 2013 and 2014, Pacific Aluminium’s parent company, Rio Tinto, managed to increase its profit in aluminium 124% from US$19 billion to US$2.9 billion.
“Joining the CSL team means being part of a passionate family committed to advancing leading-edge shipping solutions for customers worldwide.
We are committed to the wellbeing of our crews and employees, and to promoting a corporate culture that values high ethical standards, a safe and healthy workplace and respect for the environment. A career with CSL is both stimulating and challenging, and we are continually seeking skilled and passionate individuals to occupy key roles throughout our company.
CSL offers a positive working environment, competitive salaries and attractive benefits packages throughout our offices and fleets.”
The 16 qualified and experienced Australian seafarers aboard the CSL Melbourne have now lost their jobs and their livelihoods. Not only in Pacific Aluminium happy to replace Australian crews with Third Worlders, CSL has replaced its 16 Aussie crew members aboard the CSL Melbourne with Third Worlders. No thought was given to retaining and reassigning the 16 Aussie crew members.
Pacific Aluminium and Rio Tinto have no loyalty to Australians outside their website and annual report PR spin. They put shareholder profit ahead of Australian employee jobs and livelihoods.
But we’re talking about mining and its fickle dependence upon export commodity pricing to be viable. We’re talking about Australian government policies overpricing our local heavy industries in smelting and automotive from competitiveness. We’re talking about multinationals renown for pulling the pin on major projects at a whim – even the likes of Rio Tinto, BHP and Alcoa, all once proud corporate Australians. Now they’re all global and they just don’t give a shit.
Last month Alcoa did the same thing to its Aussie crew. In the Victorian port of Portland at 1am on Wednesday January 13, Alcoa secretly contracted a private security firm to board its bulk vessel MV Portland, take all Aussie crew from their beds and forcibly evict them from the ship.
A crew of foreign workers then boarded the ship to sail the MV Portland to Singapore.
Alcoa sacked its Australian crew in November, replacing them with a foreign crew on as little as $2 an hour for all future domestic shipping work in Australian territorial waters.
Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council, Luke Hilakari, said that the raid was an example of Alcoa’s ruthless disregard towards the Australians who work for them.
“These seafarers were in their rightful place of work, merely standing up for their right to work in their own country. And Alcoa sends in private security in the dead of night to rip them from their bunks and throw them out. With one hand, Alcoa is profiting off Australian minerals and accepting millions of dollars in Victorians’ taxes, while with the other hand they are literally marching Victorian workers off their jobs” said Mr Hilakari.
Pacific Aluminium’s third quarter results for 2015 reported “Best Alumina profitability year-to-date since 2007” contributing to a profit of US $379 million for combined upstream businesses – not exactly struggling.
In August 2014, Alcoa permanently closed its Point Henry aluminium smelter in Geelong, Victoria as well as its two rolling mills in Geelong and western Sydney causing the structural termination of 980 direct jobs plus another 3,000 layoffs in related industries. A year later in August 2015, Alcoa permanently closed its Anglesea coal mine and power station in Victoria, sacking 85 Australian locals.
It’s all about ‘Free Trade’ globalist ideology.
Third World labour can do it cheaper – everything cheaper – aluminium, steel, automotive, shipping, everything. Australians are expected to compete on a Third World earnings playing field to pay for First World living standards. It’s an economic growth con that both Liberal and Labor embrace at the expense of Australian decent wages.
Labor PMs Gillard and Rudd were as globalist Marxist as they come, yet who voted for the globalist multinational Liberals/Nationals to replace them?
Sacked Aussie ship workers protest outside Pacific Aluminium’s smelter at Tomago, NSW last week.
This is what happens when foreigners are allowed to do what they want inside Australian territory. They dump Australians to employ foreigners – two-bit ones.
Australia’s coastal cabotage protections which ensure Australian seafarers are employed in Australian coastal waters, have been dismantled by the Liberals in government. Decades of qualified and experienced Australian crews are being consigned to the unemployment scrap heap in our own country. Gladstone, a growing Queensland port is booming and Labor’s 2009 Fair Trade Commission continues to be run by union sympathisers, so how come Australian workers are losing out to foreigners?
Instead of retaining the Aussie crew, CSL Group has conveniently made them redundant, dumping the crew on the wharf in Newcastle. By all accounts the ship has already now sailed out of Newcastle for Singapore, crewed by its two-bit Third World scabs.
It’s all about ‘Free Trade’ globalist ideology. .
It’s about dumbing down First World Australia’s industry and workplaces to the lowest international price – Third World pricing, by which no decent Australian wager earner with an Australian rent/mortgage, and dependent family, can possibly compete with.
And the Liberals in government under Tony Abbott and now Malcolm Turnbull are letting in the Third World pricing to our domestic markets. Australia’s own coastal shipping (and domestic airline) routes are being taken over by foreign carriers and their contract Third World crews. It spells the end of Australia’s maritime industry and the end of First World crewing unless you want to work for $2 a hour..and so lose your house and family.
MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith slammed the CSL Group for using police force to evict the workers.
“This is an absolute outrage. No worker in this country is safe now,” he said. “These men have been removed by the state from their rightful place of work and replaced with workers who earn $2 an hour.”
The Liberal Party’s forced dismantling of Australian cabotage protection rights spells the end of Australian shipping and the demise of the Australian Red Ensign.
Since the proud independent federation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, Australian-owned vessels have proudly flown the Australian Red Ensign to show they are properly Australian registered and as such protected by Australian sovereignty and covered by our national Navigation Act. Mercantile marine, private organisations and individual vessels have done so for over a century.
Foreign carriers have no loyalty to Australians.
Craig Brady is one of the sixteen Australian seafarers off bulk carrier CSL Melbourne. He says he now risks living in the gutter after being told his job has been axed under a plan to replace a ship that transports alumina to a Hunter Valley smelter. Brady’s been working on ships for 24 years and said losing his job would have a devastating impact on his family.
Craig Brady: “It’s going to mean, probably, I’m going to be living in the gutter,” he said. “I rent a house, I have two kids, a wife and it’s going to mean destruction to be honest. I’m still trying to get my head around it.”
Mr Brady said he did not hold out much hope of finding a new job any time soon.
“The prospects are no good because in the shipping industry it’s just been going backwards time after time,” he said. “My job prospects are no good at all.”
The Fair Work Commission, installed by Labor’s past PM Kevin Rudd in 2009, has enforced the current Liberal government’s decision to dismantle our national cabotage protections (domestic coastal shipping rights) for Australian-only flagged carriers carting Australian produce around Australia’s own coastline by Australian-only crews – but instead let in foreign carriers and crews muscle in as Viking invaders using Third World slaves.
The Foreign Scabs
MUA Newcastle Branch Secretary Glen Williams says the cheap vessel chartered by Pacific Aluminium to replace the CSL Melbourne is a flag of convenience bulk carrier vessel, Skyfall, owned by a Greek company, Prime Bulk Ship Management, headquartered in Athens.
The vessel is registered in dodgy Liberia and is crewed by Third World Filipino crew. The Greek company does not have an ITF agreement protecting its seafarers most basic rights, which under Australia’s Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012, makes it illegal for it to operate in Australian waters.
Foreign ship Skyfall, foreign Third World labour, Australian cargo, Australian waters
The ship is currently anchored off Newcastle . The two-bit slave Filipinos will be exploited and stood over. Prime Bulk Ship Management is currently being investigated for underpaying its 19 Filipino crew aboard another of its vessel’s, Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier ‘Christine B’, but also putting crew lives at risk by making them clean a cargo hold without proper safety harnesses or equipment
International Transport Workers’ Federation National Coordinator Dean Summers says not only has the ITF been denied access to Skyfall by its Greek owners, but Pacific Aluminium is refusing to reveal who heads up their shipping department.
This was the second time in the past four months that an Australian crew was removed from their vessel and replaced by a foreign crew working for lower wages. Welcome to Turnbull’s shiny new free trade.
The commissioners each earn sufficient taxpayer-funded salaries every three years for the average Australian worker to self-retire comfortably on without a pension.
The Liberal Party’s policy and laws have let foreign ships ply Australian waters and two-bit foreign crews replace Australian crews in Australian waters. The Liberal have made Aussie seafarers redundant in our own country! The Liberals’ political class elitists, Trade Minister Andrew Robb and prior Treasurer Joe Hockey both are in favour of destroying Australia’s cabotage protections to suit foreign corporate interests.
In June 2015, political elitist Joe Hockey infamously proclaimed: “If you’ve got a good job and it pays good money and you have security in relation to that job, then you can go to the bank and you can borrow money and that’s readily affordable. “
Cigar chomping smug Joe Hockey; he now has a taxpayer-funded good job living it up in Washington DC as an ambassador for foreign interests and himself.
Last July (2015), 36 Australian seafarers aboard the Australian coastal service vessel the ‘Alexander Spirit‘ lost their jobs to cheap foreign scab labour as a direct result of the Abbott Liberal Government’s dismantling of Australia’s cabotage protections.
Foreign multinational petroleum company, Caltex, sacked the Australian crew in Devonport, Tasmania.
Tasmanian Labor Leader Bryan Green at the time stated:
“It won’t just be the 36 men and women aboard the Alexander Spirit who lose their jobs, if the Abbott Government gets its way and is able to completely dismantle the Coastal Trading Act, the jobs of all workers on Australian ships will be under threat.
“This is little more than work choices on the waterfront. It’s not on that a dedicated and skilled local workforce can be dumped in favour of exploited foreign labour, which would be paid less than $2 an hour”
Read More: July 11, 2015: ‘Caltex sacks qualified Australian seamen so parent Chevron can profit from Third World slave labour‘
The globalist Liberals have gotten their way.
Back in the 1990s, the Liberals under John Howard, flogged off Australian National Line (ANL) to foreign multinational P&O and so instigated the destruction of Australian cabotage in coastal shipping. Howard is Abbott’s mentor.
In 2012, Gillard Labor introduced more so-called ‘cabotage reform’ with the spin that it would revitalise the Australian shipping industry and enhance efficiency and competition. However, almost 3 years after their enactment, the 2012 reforms have failed to revitalise the Australian shipping industry and have come under strong attack from just about every industry stakeholder for subjecting carriers and shippers to a system that is inefficient, anti-competitive and cumbersome.
Read More: June 1, 2015: ‘Liberal Andrew Robb’s brain snap: flog off Australian aviation to multinationals‘
So meet the scabs at Pacific Aluminium responsible for sacking the 16 Australian seafarers:
“Pacific Aluminium Great People”
They call themselves the ‘Executive Team’. They execute Aussie jobs for corporate greed. There’s Bruce Cox, president and CEO.
Then there are the Australian workers and their dependent families.
Pacific Aluminium – driving Australians homeless.