Update: AMOU Telling Our Story

The Australian Maritime Officers Union yesterday (01/06) launched a national campaign to raise the profile of Australian Deck Officers and their struggle to work in their own backyards. (see Related Article).

More than 60 AMOU members and supporters attended an open air meeting at the Australian Maritime College in Launceston where Deck Officer cadets and trainees are fearful for their future employment prospects.

The meeting was told that while the Union is aware of at least 90 fully qualified AMOU members that are currently unemployed there are 137, 457 visa holders, employed as Deck Officers on the Australian Coast.

Cadet Deck Officers Nathan Hills and Harlen Frew told the meeting they feared that upon completing their studies they would need to look overseas to get work in a profession they love.

Sydney Pilot Mick Kelly told the meeting unless things were changed and Australian Deck Officers were given full access to work in their local shipping industry he was afraid that when he retired he would not be able to hand his job of bringing ships in and out of Sydney Harbour to another Australian.

The meeting was addressed on shipping reforms issues by Ross Hart ALP Candidate for Bass, Greens Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie.

The Politicians were presented with a Charter of Australian Deck Officers Rights and all signed a Pledge to support that Deck Officers positions should not be available to 457 visas holders.

The meeting ended with the general agreement that AMOU members would tell their story in electorates all over the country during the current Election.  Members would raise the issue of 457 visa Deck Officers with local candidates and get the Pledges of support signed.

 AMOU Telling our story

Pictured left to right: Nathan Hills, Harlen Frew, Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens)

Jacqui Lambie (JNL), Senator Helen Polley (ALP) and Ross Hart (ALP)