Maritime Union of New Zealand says it will stop work on blacklisted ship in Australian dispute

The Maritime Union of New Zealand says it will stop work on the ship involved in the Port Kembla waterfront dispute in Australia if it comes to New Zealand.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says if the MV Capo Noli enters any port in New Zealand, the dispute in Port Kembla will be immediately extended to New Zealand.

The Union has offered its full support to the Maritime Union of Australia, who are fighting an attempt by multinational shipping corporation CSL to make Third World crews do waterfront work in Port Kembla in New South Wales.

The Maltese flagged MV Capo Noli is calling at Port Kembla loaded with Gypsum. The vessel is owned by Coeclerici Armatori Spa in Genoa but managed and crewed by Elburg Shipmanagement Phils Inc. She is chartered to Britania Bulkers UK and sub chartered to CSL Shipping.

The crew has been told to discharge cargo using the ship’s cranes despite an international agreement that clearly states that dockers work, such as loading and unloading of ships, should not be done by seafarers.

Mr Hanson says a national meeting of the Union today offered its full support to the Maritime Union of Australia through the Trans Tasman Federation.

“We are in regular contact with the MUA and will work as one with them on this case, including blacklisting any ships involved in this dispute that come to New Zealand, and sending delegates to Australia to help with pickets.”

Mr Hanson says that the issue is about stopping global companies from exploiting local and Third World workers.

“Overseas crews are often paid very low wages, and if companies move them ashore their goal is to attack the wages and conditions and jobs of local workers. It is the sinister face of corporate globalization and we are going to fight it every step of the way.”

Mr Hanson says the Maritime Union is very concerned about the movement of casual short term labour across borders to undercut wages and conditions using free trade agreements.

He says the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) representing transport workers around the world is backing the Union stance against what it terms “self loading” by ships crews.

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