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Qld sailors rally against foreign labour

Australian maritime workers being removed from the MV Portland. Photo MUA Facebook page.

Australian maritime workers being removed from the MV Portland. Photo MUA Facebook page.

Brisbane [AAP]

Sailors are expected to hold a rally in Brisbane in another bid to keep their jobs on board bulk carrier ships.

The Maritime Union of Australia claims large businesses, such as mining giant Rio Tinto, are sacking Australian seafarers and replacing them with cheap foreign labour.

Workers from several unions will take part in a rally outside Rio Tinto’s Brisbane office at midday on Friday.

It comes after five Australian crew members who refused to leave a bulk carrier ship docked in Newcastle were forcibly removed by NSW police earlier last week.

Officers escorted foreign crew on board the CSL Melbourne before removing the five local workers, the MUA said at the time.

The Australian workers had refused to disembark the vessel for nearly a week following CSL’s decision to send the ship to Singapore for international routes using foreign workers.

The MUA claims a loophole is allowing foreign workers to work on ships on domestic routes in Australia including between Gladstone and Newcastle.

Comment has been sought from Rio Tinto.


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