As you would be aware on Tuesday evening CSL Australia announced the removal of the Australian crew from the CSL Brisbane which is at dry dock in Singapore with the vessel to now be manned by a foreign crew. CSL have notified that they are going to relinquish the Australian Transitional General Licence which the CSL Brisbane currently sails under and return the vessel to the CSL International Fleet trading in the Asia area.
This will see the vessel intermittently return to Australia at which times CSL intends to apply for a Temporary Licence under the Coastal Trading Act.
The MUA has lodged its disgust at the underhanded way this process has been dealt with and have been advised by CEO Bill Bisset that the decision was made by CSL Canada and advised to CSL Australia on Tuesday night with orders to implement immediately.
We met with CSL at the National Office on Friday and put to them a range of options. We also sought answers as to why CSL have chosen this course of action following assurances that the vessel would return to Australia with the Australian crew following the current dry-docking. We are also looking at what discussions are required under the Consultation clause in the EA to achieve the best possible outcomes for our members.
At this stage no crew have been made redundant nor terminated however CSL have advised they will be seeking voluntary redundancies across the fleet. We are in regular contact with the crew and providing as much information as possible at this early stage.
The union is developing a full industrial, political, international and legal strategy to deal with this latest attack on Australian seafarers in an attempt to secure jobs with MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray and National Officer Mich-Elle Myers now on the ground in Montreal where they will meet with CSL International on Monday 3rd October. Our comrades from the Seafarers International Union of Canada are very sympathetic to our position with their President, Jim Given and Executive Vice President, Patrice Caron, intervening on our behalf in organising this urgent meeting with CSL International.
We will keep members updated as these meetings unfold and we will provide as much information as possible.
MUA SNSW Branch