We posted a short item Friday on the sacking of 36 Australian seafarers on the Teekay-owned tanker the Alexander Spirit. Here is an update: The crew are now refusing to sail it to Singapore, where the company intends to sack them and replace them with cheap FoC crew.
They are also refusing to leave the ship. So we have a … Tasmanian standoff.
Why are they digging in? We’ll leave it to Ian Bray, Assistant National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, to explain.
Caltex, the oil shipping company behind the crew firing, is misleading the Australian public by insisting that there was not enough trade to sustain the Australian-crewed Alexander Spirit, Bray says.
“I would love for Caltex to explain why the Liberian-flagged Stolt Kikyo is alongside in Geelong and what trip Caltex has planned for that vessel they have brought in to replace the Alexander Spirit,” he said.
“Why haven’t the soon-to-be redundant crew from the Alexander Spirit crew been offered replacement jobs on the vessel? Why is the government allowing Caltex to run roughshod over the intent of cabotage laws by allowing this replacement vessel to do what was, up until today, the Alexander Spirit run?
“So many unanswered questions — and I think the crew has a right to know why they have been cast aside in the worst way possible.”