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LNG Boom A Golden Opportunity For Australian Shipping

The Australian economy and workforce will miss a golden opportunity with the striking of the $50 billion Gorgon LNG deal with PetroChina if it is not accompanied by a significant expansion in the national shipping industry consistent with a shipping policy review currently under consideration by the Rudd Government.

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Comrades Raise Their Glasses To Alan Oliver

Alan Oliver has not got long to go.  The seafarers' scribe and long time union activist has terminal cancer.  So on Friday, August 14, his closest comrades gathered by his side to raise their glasses in his honour, spin a few yarns, and set out on his last voyage together.

It was their regular get together at the Spanish Club in Sydney -  group of maritime workers,  an entrepreneur, an artist and cook, a Cuban, a doctor and a lawyer.

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NT Picnic Day A Great Turnout

The 2009 MUA NT Branch Picnic day was held at the Jingili Water Gardens. It was the best turnout for a picnic in a number of years and the families that attended enjoyed a day to remember.

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Union Book Shortlisted For Award

Voices from the Ships, Australian seafarers and their union, launched at national council in April has been shortlisted for the 2009 Frank Broeze Maritime History Prize.  The Museum's panel of judges as one of the four finalists for the prize.

Jeffrey Mellefont Publications manager, Australian National Maritime Museum, wrote to the publishers UNSW Press last week to congratulate to author Diane Kirkby on reaching this stage of the selection process.

The history, which was the outcome of the 2004 National Delegates' Conference, was launched at the Maritime Museum by Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and former ACTU secretary Bill Kelty, who congratulated union and its members over the years for their contribution to making Australia a stronger democracy.  

Minister Albanese paid tribute to the writer Diane Kirkby for her insight into working class culture.

Copies of the book have been distributed to branches and are also available from National Office.

 

 

 

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Wharfies Redundancy Busters Mission Gets Public Acclaim

Port Botany wharfies in August featured in the Sydney Morning Herald for their initiative of sacrificing hours for their casual comrades. ( Wharfies adopt containment policy)

At the same time members at East Swanson Dock, Melbourne got their job saving initiative in the Melbourne Age (Wharfies make leave agreement to save jobs.)

Their stories, which also feature this MWJ tells how  250 full time rostered staff at DP World cut their hours back from 36 to 35 and gave up a weekend shift to spend more time with their families and give casual workers more chance of earning a quid. And how in Melbourne Patrick wharfies took leave to save redundancies.

A new report finds that while unemployment in Australia is relatively stable in the global economic crisis compared to other countries, under employment is growing.

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Pirates Release Crew

After eight months held as hostages, 11 Indonesian seafarers are returning home.  But concern is spreading in the industry that ransom negotiations are taking too long, Lloyds List reports.

The crew were taken hostage when their tug, the Malaysian-flagged Masindra 7 was finally released last weekend.  Their release follows protracted negotiations between the vessel’s owner, Masindra Shipping, and the pirates who captured it off the Yemen coast on December 16 last year.

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Crew Abandoned In New Zealand

Two of the Burmese crew on board the Liberian ship of shame abandoned when their ship was arrested in Auckland this week have not been paid for a year, one is presumed dead after going missing in heavy seas on route from Chile, most had not spoken to their families in months and all were running short of water and provisions.

The International Transport Workers' Federation and Maritime Union of New Zealand has been assisting the 23 seafarers after the ship, owned by New York company Eastwind Maritime, went bankrupt and Tokyo-based Aozora Bank, which has a mortgage over the ship had it arrested.

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Nigerian Pirates Attack Crew

Two crew members have reportedly been injured after their Turkish bulk carrier was fired upon off Nigeria, Fairplay shipping magazine reports

The unidentified seafarers were reportedly not seriously injured when the pirates fired at the Turkey-flagged bulker near Port Harcourt some time between Sunday and Monday.

The ship is understood to have suffered minimal or no damage and has berthed at the large Nigerian port.

Rebels in the area connected with piracy recently released six crew of an Eitzen-managed chemical carrier after they were held for three weeks. 

  

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Time To Team Up With Pacific Nations

Pacific maritime jobs poised to benefit from Australian shipping reforms    

There was a call at the ALP Conference in Sydney today for the Government to partner with key union and industry stakeholders on major resource projects with Pacific region nations, promoting workforce development, training and labour standards, trade and security.

Moving a resolution at the Conference the Maritime Union of Australia's National Secretary, Paddy Crumlin, said under Labor's Pacific Partnerships for Development strategy there were many opportunities for Australian unions to work on key projects including regional hydrocarbons projects such as the PNG LNG project, emerging oil and gas production in the Timor Sea and related shipping policy initiatives by the Government.

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Coastal Sovereignty

FAIR WORK LAWS TO COVER FOREIGN SHIPPING ON OUR COAST : It is the greatest victory for the Maritime Union since 1998. And the longest fought. After a decade of court battles, commission hearings, ship disputes and submissions, electioneering and lobbying, the Rudd Government has reclaimed Australian sovereignty of our coastline.

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