||Issue No. 209||20 February 2004|
Regions To Be Cheerful
Interview: Trading in Principle
Unions: While We Were Away
Politics: Follow the Leader
Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
History: Worker Control Harco Style
Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
A Casual Affair
Latham Is A Bad Man
Seven Days on a Leaking Boat
The Cypriot-flagged, Eurydice, docked in Sydney today after a plate was welded onto its hull to prevent the discharge that it had seen it barred from entering port for seven days.
"The Eurydice is a good example of the sort of rust buckets the Federal Government is encouraging onto our coasts in their bid to keep Australian seafarers out of work," MUA secretary, Robert Coombs said.
"Yet again, our environment has been threatened by a flag of convenience vessel."
Representatives of the ITF were seeking to board the Eurydice and interview Russian, Indian and Phillipino crew members as Workers Online was published.
The ITF and MUA have been campaigning against the deregulation of shipping - based on FoC vessels that don't have to comply with domestic labour, environmental, safety or tax regimes - for years.
The Maritime Union says FoCs have been involved in most of the major oil spills and marine pollution issues of recent years. They said the 18-year-old Eurydice had a history of problems, including a collision with a chemical dock and barges in the Gulf of Mexico, less than two years ago.
A British intelligence group, meanwhile, has echoed the MUA warning that ports and shipping are vulnerable to international terrorism.
Al Qaeda could be planning a "maritime spectacular" Dominick Donald of Aegis Reasearch and Intelligence warned a London security conference this week.
Addressing delegates at the Intermodal Petroleum Transportation conference, donald warned the maritime sector was an obvious and easy target. Other analysts have warned of the danger posed by unregulated shipping, pointing out that Osama bin laden has interests in shipping and the role played by a Flag of Convenience vessel in the devastation of the USS Cole in East Africa.
Former Australian Transport Minister, Peter Morris, this week added his voice to those warning of maritime terrorism.
"Any one of the thousands of foreign ships that dock each year in Australian ports, particularly Sydney, has the potential to become a weapon of mass destruction," said Morris who now heads up the International Commission on Shipping (ICONS).
Morris said the US had recognised the danger but Australia was making itself "more vulnerable than most" by its reliance on foreign registered vessels that often deliberately hid their real owners or operators.
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