Australia - Unionised crew members forced off ship

In the middle of the night on 13 January 2016, 30 security guards boarded the Alcoa ship “MV Portland” to remove five crew members, all Australian and all members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). They then escorted foreign seafarers on to the ship that immediately left for Singapore. The MUA had been in dispute with the ship owner who wanted to make the crew redundant after sailing the Portland cargo ship to Singapore for scrap.
The MV Portland had been used to transport minerals and, under Australian laws, had to have an Australian flag and crew, but had been granted a temporary licence by the government to use a foreign crew. Alcoa had already been using a replacement ship to cover the route used by the MV Portland, and the MUA believed the company was trying to use the replacement ship to undermine the rights and conditions of Australian workers.

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