MUA Here to Stay: Members and Supporters Escalate Canberra Campaign

The Maritime Union of Australia is into week two of its campaign to raise awareness of the plight of blue-collar jobs in Australia, particularly in seafaring. 

Two ships in as many months – the MV Portland and the CSL Melbourne – sacked their Australian crews and replaced them with developing world workers. Some of whom will be paid as little as $2/hour.

As a result the MUA and other unions have set up a Jobs Embassy outside of parliament house taking their message straight to the decision makers, who have so far been deaf to to the decline of long-term, skilled, once-stable jobs in manufacturing, seafaring, mining and other industries.

Today a mix of MV Portland crew, representatives from the MUA Southern New South Wales Branch and the South Coast Labour Council's Arthur Rorris met with Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, the Labor Party’s Anthony Albanese.

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Upon meeting the ALP stalwart the group gifted ‘Albo’ with a chart: A graphic story depicting the life of the trade of the MV Portland, which was signed by sacked crew and created by retired Seamens’ Union member Don Straun.

On Wednesday the union will be celebrating Iron Boat Day at the Embassy, with all welcome. Embassy staffers will be joined by US folk legend George Mann. The event kicks off at 1pm.