The remaining crew members of the Alexander Spirit have been holed up on the ship for more than two weeks after the ship’s charterer, Caltex, announced that their upcoming voyage to Singapore would be their last.
Upon arrival in Singapore the Australian crew would be unceremoniously cast aside for a foreign crew which will be paid as little as $2 an hour, according to Maritime Union of Australia Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray.
Mr Bray said the people of Devonport found this action intolerable and as a result set up a picket line in support of the crew and in protest of Caltex’s decision.
“The community in North-West Tassie are upset that local jobs are being offshored while the company responsible, Caltex, is reaping massive profits,” Mr Bray said.
On the same week Caltex announced its decision to scrap the crew it announced a half-year profit of $375 million.
Mr Bray said the Abbott Government, particularly Senator Eric Abetz, had been missing in action.
“Devonport has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and Tasmania’s Senator Abetz has told the supporters who have been out in the elements, day and night, for the past fortnight that they should respect Caltex’s decision to sack Aussie workers.
“Well it shows how out of touch Abetz really is when you see the numbers of people who have offered their support.” ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver, ALP Shadow Employment Minister Brendan O’Connor, Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie will address the rally.