*Pic: Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie meets a seaman who tells her about more job losses to foreigners and threats of legal action by Abbott Government agency. TT would publish her MR but it corrupts when extracted from the PDF into TT technol …
An appeal lodged by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) against a Fair Work Commission decision involving an oil tanker in Tasmania will be heard on Friday.
The commission has ruled that the industrial action by the crew of the Alexander Spirit in Devonport is illegal.
The 36 crew members have been refusing to sail to Singapore because they are going to be replaced by a foreign crew on a new international route.
The commission ruled on Tuesday that the five-day protest by the crew was not protected industrial action.
The MUA lodged an appeal to the full bench of the commission requesting an urgent hearing.
Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz said the ship’s crew should abide by the commission’s ruling and return to work while the appeal is determined.
“If we are to have an orderly society we have to accept the decision of the Fair Work Commission when we win, just as much as when we lose,” the Minister said.
“There are rights and responsibilities and duties on both sides of this dispute and it is up to both parties to abide by the rule of law.
“Right, wrong or indifferent, the Maritime Union of Australia has had a ruling made against it and until such time as that decision is overturned, if it is at all, it is the MUA’s duty to abide by the decision.”
The Federal Government wants to repeal cabotage laws which require Australian crews to be used on domestic routes.
• Tim Thorne in Comments: If the law says that a worker can be forced to hand his or her job over to someone who I’ll be paid less and treated worse, then that law must be changed. In the interim it must be disregarded. All power to the picket line!