Labor calls on the Abbott Government to come up with a real plan for jobs after major Australian oil company Caltex confirmed it will replace the 36 Australian crew members of the Alexander Spirit with foreign workers.
On local radio yesterday, Employment Minister Eric Abetz shed crocodile tears for these critical Tasmanian jobs, making it clear that the only future he sees for shipping jobs in Australia is to cut wages and conditions.
It is not good enough that people who work hard in decent, well paid jobs in Australia are being replaced with foreign workers at a fraction of the cost.
The Government’s real intention is made clear by the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 the Minister has in the Parliament at present. This legislation is WorkChoices on water.
Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives will allow foreign-flagged vessels working between Australian domestic ports for up to 183 days a year to pay Third World level wages.
This means they will undercut Australian shipping companies that pay Australian-level wages and drive them out of business, putting Australian mariners out of work.
This legislation will put at risk thousands of Australian jobs.
Labor will oppose the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 in the national interest.