Officer's Union Welcomes ACTU Action on Shipping Jobs


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Officer's Union Welcomes ACTU Action on Shipping Jobs


The Australian Maritime Officer's Union (AMOU) has welcomed the intervention of the Australian Council of Trade Union (ACTU) into the ever-declining shipping industry.

The ACTU announced yesterday that it would organise a Shipping Industry Summit and invite unions, business and political leaders to participate in an attempt to save the endangered Australian shipping industry.

AMOU President Tim Higgs said the union would be a willing contributor in the summit.

"We're a stone's throw away from completely losing the industry in which our members are not only engaged in but hold a great deal of pride about," Mr Higgs said.

"The ability to bring genuine stakeholders together to try and formulate a plan, which includes Australian workers, is a step in the right direction.

He said the union was opposed to the Abbott Government's intention to deregulate shipping, which will allow foreign seafarers to work on Australian domestic shipping routes, which is currently regulated under Cabotage legislation.

"Our members are very concerned about what the future of their industry holds and the recent Government decision to scrap Cabotage has done nothing to allay their fears," Mr Higgs said.

"Without the ability for masters and officers to work in Australian waters we will be faced with a skills shortage in the not-too-distant future. Pilots and harbourmasters require onboard experience aboard trading vessels in order to fulfill these roles. The loss of the jobs on the ships will have a flow-on effect to shore based positions and that will result in those skills having to be imported.


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