Maritime News

Unions launch campaign to save Australian shipping

8 September 2017

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have launched a campaign to save Australian shipping.

The unions are calling for a strong national shipping fleet to protect Australian jobs, national security, fuel security, and the country’s coastline and natural environment. They say that under the most recent governments, the number of Australian-flagged vessels has continued to decline, and that there are now no Australian tankers crewed by Australian seafarers.

While Australia has the fourth largest shipping task in the world, the unions say that: “in recent years Australian ships have disappeared off our coast only to be replaced by flag of convenience (FOC) ships crewed by some of the world’s most exploited labour.”

They point to a recent Senate inquiry finding that FOC shipping posed serious security risks, while participants engaged in large-scale tax avoidance and exploitation.

The campaign also sees the launch of a new MUA website, “Save Australian Shipping – Take Back Our Coast”, which will be used to update members and promote grassroots activism throughout shipping in advance of the next federal election.


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