Another helicopter crashed into the North Sea last week, while carrying rigs workers to shore. All sixteen people on board are confirmed dead.
The joint union action was the first initiated by the fledgling Australian Federation of Transport Unions comprising the Maritime Union, the Transport Workers Union and the Rail Tram and Bus Union.
Unions were tipped off that the factory gear was being shipped out and decided to take a stand. Together members of the MUA (covering the wharves), the Transport Workers' Union (covering truck drivers) and the Rail Tram and Bus Union (covering rail) are refusing to move the machinery from any Pacific Brands factory. The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association has also joined the boycott.
My homeland is the MUA, says Maz.
His family come from Jerusalem, but after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, like so many Palestinians lived in exile.
We were in Lebanon until the Israeli invasion in 1982 when we fled to Jordan, says Maz.
But with the 1993 Oslo Accords, which provided for the creation of a Palestinian Authority and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the family returned to Palestine. There Maz worked for the Israeli heavy vehicle manufacturing corporation Caterpillar for three years.
In Brisbane wharfies at the Patrick terminal offered to give the shirts off their backs if the company would give the money they saved on workplace issue clothing to the Victorian bushfire appeal. It was Patrick Terminal member Chris Vane who first suggested that members volunteer to forgo their next workplace clothing on the proviso the company donates the money. But Deputy Branch Secretary Trevor Munday reports local management now prefers a suggestion from members to donate a sick day instead.
In Sydney Deputy Branch Secretary Glen Wood reports both DP World and Patrick wharfies agreed to donate $50 each, with the Patrick workers also donating last years Christmas bonus/company gift vouchers of $50. In total Patrick Port Botany wharfies raised $42,000, he reports.
Trevor Moore, 43, IR, was killed tragically on board the Karratha Spirit on Christmas Eve.
He was the second seafarer to die in a matter of weeks in work-related incidents aboard Australian-crewed vessels. These were the first mortalities in Australian seagoing job accidents in 14 years.
Transport Minister Anthony Albanese announced the board members of the Shipping Policy Advisory Group on February 16. The group will help the government respond to the Rebuilding Australia's Coastal Shipping Industry report produced late last year by a bipartisan parliamentary committee.
The group will review the committee's recommendations and advise the minister on initiatives needed to revitalise Australia's critical shipping industry.
2011 presents opportunities as well as problems for MUA members and the union must continue to work hard to secure and build on our industrial, political and economic rights.
The Maritime Union has joined the ACTU campaign for 14 weeks paid maternity leave emailing video petitions to MPs while ensuring all agreements include paid leave for both men and women.
We've sent in around 100 video petitions, said MUA Womens Liaison Officer Mich-Elle Myers. And MUA men are part of the campaign. Its not just women who are behind it.
Paddy Crumlin, MUA national secretary and ITF executive board member will be visiting the Middle East later this year, to promote the International Transport Workers initiative to bring the workers of Israel and Palestine together.
Its the working people who are suffering most from this conflict, he said. And its the workers and their unions who can begin a lasting peace process on the ground.
Peter surveys the destruction from the top of a mountain looking down into the Glenburn Valley population 179 in the Yarra Ranges northeast of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The smoke haze covers everything. A small fire is still burning to the west.
Just imagine Gaza and thats pretty much what youve got a picture off, he said.
Peter Gray was in Tasmania on a motorcycle ride on the Saturday afternoon he heard about the fires. February 8.