This week, ALCOA workers at the Portland refinery were informed of yet another savage attack on Aussie seafarer jobs with the announcement from ALCOA that they plan to remove the MV Portland from the Australian coast. ALCOA indicated their intention is to replace the ship with a foreign-flagged vessel and foreign crew on $2-an hour wages.
What is important to remember is that product carried by the MV Portland for the past 25 years between Portland Victoria and Kwinana Western Australia is:
- Mined In Australia
- Refined in Australia
- Transported exclusively in Australia
This is AUSTRALIAN COASTAL TRADE pure and simple.
Replacing Australian Jobs with cheaper overseas labour is a greedy and opportunistic move by ALCOA who have not hidden their motivation as being profit-driven, despite the company recording a $44 million profit in the last quarter alone. Not to mention they are subsidised by the Victorian Government to the tune of of $90 million a year.
ALCOA has also been vocal in its support for the Warren Truss Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill which if passed through the Senate next week would effectively destroy the entire Australian shipping industry and put up to 10,000 maritime workers on the unemployment scrapheap.
We stand strong with our loyal and experienced members aboard the MV Portland. MUA officials have arranged several high-level union meetings for early next week with the support of the ACTU. And we are exploring a series of political angles to challenge this move by ALCOA.
ALL MUA MEMBERS PLEASE ATTEND UPDATE MEETINGS for the MV PORTLAND
Melbourne Wednesday 11 November 9.00am
MUA Rooms, 46-54 Ireland Street, West Melbourne
Thursday 12 November 1pm
MUA Rooms 2-4 Kwong Alley, Nth Fremantle