The below statement was sent out to MUA members with an email address yesterday:
As we rang in the New Year, the crew of the MV Portland were still stranded in south west Victoria, fighting to retain their jobs.
It’s now been 52 days since the crew were sacked by American-based miner Alcoa, only to be told they would be replaced by exploited, developing world workers.
Subsequently two substandard were contracted by Alcoa to take over the MV Portland’s domestic route. Firstly, there was the vessel the Strategic Alliance which was embroiled in allegations of bribery. The second vessel, the Greenery Sea, was found to be in breach of international laws and had underpaid its Chinese crew for at least two months.
The MV Portland will move to anchor today.
Glenelg Shire Council, Alcoa and the Port Authority have agreed that the ship can return to the port the day after a cruise ship – the Pacific Jewel – has visited.
This campaign is now entering a critical phase, including ensuring the MV Portland returns to the berth as agreed for the health and safety of the vessel and crew, until the matter is resolved in the interests of all parties.
Donations have flowed from across the country and many have made the trip down to Portland to show their support at the assembly, however, the fight is still ongoing and the crew are dependent on our continued support.
Donations can be made here.
Sign this petition, which calls on the Turnbull Government to revoke the Temporary Licence granted to Alcoa.
To keep updated on the campaign, check out this Facebook page.
For those who can lend their support in person, the community assembly can be found at the Lee Breakwater.
2016 is going to be struggle for justice on the job for many industries and workers, but none more so than for seafarers in Australia, who are being ripped out of their workplaces because of international tax avoidance and exploitative employment standards are available.
Eliminating these practices is a priority issue for all workers and not just in this country.
MUA National Secretary