The latest in a series of fuel security rallies took place on Melbourne’s Southbank, outside of fuel major – Exxon/Mobil’s- office.
Members handed out thousands of tanker campaign leaflets and had many conversations with the public. Hundreds of signatures were also collected for a petition.
Seafarers Matt Leach and Glenn Smart entered the Exxon Mobil building but were refused access to management but were given a phone number to call.
“We left the building and went back to report to our members when police turned up and informed myself and Glenn that on the request of management if we entered the Exxon/ Mobil building again would be arrested for trespass,” Leach said.
The group refused to move from Southbank and eventually management agreed to a meeting. Eventually a representative met with Smart and Leach and they were afforded an opportunity to talk about the need for fuel security.
In the meeting Exxon/Mobil admitted to not using Australian crews but using temporary licenses, according to Leach.
In addressing the crowd Leach said: “This campaign is not only about tankers, it’s about bluewater shipping. Our rights as workers to participate in our industry and more importantly for the nation; protect our fuel security.”
“We need Australian seafarers. We need Australian vessels. We’re safe, efficient, we work hard and we’re union members, which is why I reckon the Government is having a real crack at us.”
For all of the pictures of the event, click here.
To listen to the MUA’s podcast featuring Victorian Assistant Branch Secretary Bobby Patchett and Matt Leach, click here.