The Maritime Union of Australia is taking its fight straight to Caltex in a show of solidarity with the crew of the formerly Caltex contracted tanker, the Alexander Spirit.
Last week the Australian crew of the Alexander Spirit, which is still docked in Devonport, Tasmania, was told their upcoming voyage to Singapore would be the last and that they would be replaced with foreign seafarers as Caltex pulled the plug on Australian shipping.
Caltex has argued that its decision to dump its Australian workforce was down to cost pressures on the same week the company announced a half-year profit of $375 million.
MUA Queensland Branch Secretary Bob Carnegie said his members were outraged that the crew had been treated with such contempt by the oil major.
“The fact that a company can, in one breath say it can’t employ Australians because they’re too expensive and in the second breath gloat about its massive profits is sickening,” Mr Carnegie said.
“Caltex, needs to be shown that this kind of predatory, corporate behavior is intolerable to us and all Australians who believe in a fair go.”
"If Caltex, think even for one minute, that the MUA is going away, they have the corporate equivalence of water in their fuel line.
“The MUA will fight for justice for working people in this country and for fuel security and just employment rights we've been doing it for 143 years and we really are ‘Here to stay’.”
MUA Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith said that the whole community should be concerned about what having no Australian-crewed tankers would mean for them.
“Ships of shame are replacing highly professional Australian crewed tankers. This threatens the environment, and our fuel security. Why should our jobs be sold off for profits,” Mr Smith asked.
“We argue that oil refined in Australia and carried on Australian ships by Australian workers will not only be good for fuel security, it will be good for the hip pocket in terms of the petrol pump price. Something Caltex is clearly not interested in providing.
“If they’ll steal our jobs, can they be trusted at the bowser?”