More than 100 women participants from Women in Male Dominated Occupations and Industries (WiMDOI) showed BP that dumping their Australian crew from the British Loyalty Tanker would not be tolerated.
The women performed a flash mob in front of a BP station on Botany Road in a peaceful protest which saw many customers choose to fill their tanks elsewhere.
The event was part of the Maritime Union of Australia’s protest against BP’s decision to sack its crew, claiming there is not enough work for them in coastal trade, however research shows that the tanker could be diverted to the East West trade in the wake of the Bulwer Refinery closure in Queensland.
MUA Women’s Liaison Officer and organiser of WiMDOI Mich-Elle Myers said the rally was a well-supported, fun event that showed that protesting does not just have to be chanting and fist pumping.
“Everyone really got into singing and dancing to the tune of ‘Blame it on the Boogie,” Myers said.
As well as the dancing, the service station was blocked from customers for more than an hour.
“Despite the inconvenience, most customers and community members were supportive of our efforts to try and save as many Australian seafaring jobs as possible,” she said.
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon also addressed the crowd in saying that BP’s decision to utilise Flag-of –Convenience was unacceptable
"BP is moving to replace a safe, regulated and Australian crewed vessel with a 'flag of convenience' - a ship crewed by workers from outside Australia who are vulnerable to low wages and exploitation," Senator Rhiannon said.
"By cost cutting in this way, BP will not only open up Australian waters to ships which may damage our coastlines, they are also threatening Australia's fuel security, and showing extreme disloyalty to Australian workers."
The rally was the latest in a series of events being undertaken by the MUA and its supporters. More will be rolled out in different locations across Australia.
More photos can be viewed here.