Wages have gone in and she will sail.
The M.V Tassie Bridge was at the centre of a dispute yesterday when disagreements between the ship owners and charterers escalated. The crew have not been paid for over 3 weeks and were standing by on the vessel for a result.
A Single voyage permit was issued to Agility by the federal government and it appeared that an FOC vessel was on its way to take the cargo from the Australian ship.
Kevin Bracken and David Cushion worked tirelessly with the parties involved while the crew stood solid at the berth.
Pressure was put on the department of transport by Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman and Rod Pickette Policy Officer which has appeared to have made an impact.
This morning Branch Secretary Kevin Bracken reports that the charterers are going to keep the contract going and the wages have been deposited into the bank which will hopefully reach the pockets of the crew by Monday.
“This dispute has highlighted a hole in communication between the government’s commitment to coastal shipping and what the department of transport are actually doing on the ground. The department need to investigate fully before issuing any SVP’s.” Mick Doleman said.
Kevin Bracken, Victorian Branch Secretary says "Of single voyage permits continue to be issued in this way there will be no confidence for other companies to invest in trade in this region which could significantly affect other vessels".
At this stage the vessel is still alongside but the cargo will commence loading at midnight and the vessel is due to sail at 1am. Monday however delegate Graham Tuttle says “Until there is evidence that the pay is in the accounts of the crew the vessel will not be going anywhere”.
Update: We have just recieved word that the pay has gone in and the cargo is commencing loading. The Tassie Bridge will sail with it's cargo and it's australian crew. Well done to the crew for their strength in the face of a difficult situation.