Maritime workers rallied today against the under-handed importation of foreign labourers to replace highly-skilled Australian workers at the Port of Newcastle.
The Maritime Union of Australia fears national security has been compromised by the foreign workforce, which was all but smuggled in to do the work. Although first thought to be part of the transport ship’s crew, it appears the foreign workers were flown in from Singapore on special visas to help unload its cargo.
“This makes a mockery of our border security,” MUA Acting Newcastle Branch Secretary Dennis Outram said.
“At a time when we are seeing unprecedented surveillance and scrutiny at our airports, anyone can seemingly come and go through our sea ports. It also jeopardises the safety and jobs of highly-skilled Australian workers.”
MUA members will join AMWU comrades to protest against the use of a foreign labour force.
Mr Outram said experienced local workers were being deliberately locked out of their jobs, this time helping to unload huge parts for wind turbines shipped in from overseas.
“It is highly dangerous work and strong safety precautions are essential to ensure no-one is seriously hurt, or killed,” Mr Outram said.
“Our members do not feel safe working alongside an untested labour force that does not appear to be meeting Australian standards.”