CSL Brisbane members Peter Low and Andrew Halliday were joined by MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray and SA Branch Secretary Jamie Newlyn this week for Parliamentary sittings in Canberra.
The delegation met with ALP Members Anthony Albanese, Brendan O’Connor, Shayne Neumann, Ross Hart, Justine Keay and Sharon Bird, the Nick Xenophon Team's Rebekha Sharkie, The Greens Janet Rice, the Jacquie Lambie Network's Jacqui Lambie and Pauline Hanson's One Nation's Pauline Hanson.
The visit to Canberra was to protest the decision by Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) to recently make redundant the crew of its coastal trading vessel the CSL Brisbane.
At the same time, the company will continue to run the CSL Whyalla using 457 visa holders.
The CSL Whyalla began using 457 visa holders about eight years ago as
there was a genuine shortage of Australian seafarers during the construction phase of the offshore oil and gas boom.
Now the construction phase has declined and there are hundreds of Australian seafarers unemployed, including those who worked on the CSL Brisbane.
The MUA is urging CSL to terminate its foreign 457 workforce and maintain the employment of its Australian seafarers.
These Australian workers on the CSL Brisbane could easily be redeployed. Whilst not technically illegal, it is clearly morally wrong.
In addition, Integrated Ratings and Able Seaman are not on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) or the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) and the MUA is concerned over the potential misuse of 457 visas which result in their use for position not defined as maritime skills under Marine Order 73.
The union is concerned workers hired in positions such as 'deck mechanic’ might not be reflective of the role performed.
The Government needs to know that the system is broken and needs fixing.