Transport Workers’ Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon has joined calls for an immediate government intervention to put a stop to Caltex’s outsourcing of Australian Seafarer jobs to international crew paid poverty wages of less than $2 an hour.
TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 20 July 2015
Speaking in support of the Sydney Rally this morning (Monday 20 July) in protest of moves from Caltex to redeploy the Alexander Spirit as an international vessel with an international crew, Mr Sheldon said the actions from Caltex represented a threat to all Australian workers.
“If successful, Caltex will put Australian workers in direct competition with those from developing nations,” said Sheldon.
“Australian workers have Australian bills and Australian taxes, we simply cannot work for $2 an hour – an neither should we be asked to.
“As a community, we’re telling the Abbott Government and Caltex – the pursuit of company profit will never be more important than the right of Australian workers to provide a good quality of life of our families.”
Mr Sheldon said Caltex’s plans were reminiscent of Gina Rinehart’s now infamous 2012 call for Australian workers to take a pay cut to be more competitive with African workers willing to earn $2 a day
“We are fighting for the future of Australian jobs,” said Mr Sheldon. “In one breath we’ve Caltex abandoning Australian workers, and on the other we’ve the Abbott Government pushing through a fair trade agreement with China that will put Australian’s out of work, while Chinese workers are imported as cheap, exploited labour with no requirement for local job –market testing.
“The Australian people need a government that’s willing to stand up for the Australian people rather than the interests of big business – and we won’t rest until we have one.”
The Transport Workers Union will join unions including the Maritime Union of Australia, Unions NSW and representatives from the International Transport Workers’ Federation at the rally outside the old Caltex Refinery in Kurnell.