||Issue No. 277||19 August 2005|
Interview: On Holiday
Unions: One Day Longer
Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Politics: Spun Out
Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
History: Taking a Stand
International: The Split
Legal: Pushing the Friendship
Poetry: Simple Subtractions
Review: Sydney Trashed
The Locker Room
Think of the Kids
Stand Your Ground
Letters to the Editor
I am writing in reference to Flag of Convenience shipping, a system that allows government's like the Howard Government and the corporate sector to prostitute their national flag in order to harbour tax cheats, drug runners and terrorists in the interest of profit and greed, recently the Australian Wheat board chartered a vessel the (Flecha) where it was found the water was unfit for drinking, where crew were forced to work excessive hours, fed rice and noodles and owed $65,000 US in wages that either the AWB were not going to pay or were stolen by the shipping line (source MUA journal, April/May)
These are conditions of employment supported by the Howard Government and the business sector that are no different from Australian Workplace Agreements or Individual Contracts.
The Howard Government issues approximately 1000 single voyage permits per year to vessels identified as FOC's, the single voyage permit (SVP) and the shipping lines that utilise rust-buckets, held together by paint have undermined Australian shipping and the companies who were proud enough to fly an Australian flag aboard a sea-worthy vessel that is registered in Australia and that complies with Australian Labour, Maritime and Environmental standards.
In many instances sea-farers and their lack of skills on board these vessels are purchased like a commodity and paid below the International Transport Workers Federation, the former Minister for Transport, John Anderson had failed to acknowledge the exploitation within this industry and that FOC's inflict upon our nation and importance of maintaining a national fleet stating that "Australia is not a shipping nation, rather we are a nation of shippers‚ the new Minister for Transport, Warren Truss (the failed Minister for Agriculture) is still not convinced, rather holding the belief that national Cabotage is some type of introduced exotic vegetable that does not require Country of Origin Labelling."
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