SIU of Canada Participates in Global Day of Action to Save Australian Shipping

May 8, 2019

Global Marine Workers Rally in Support of the Maritime Union of Australia’s Campaign to Restore and Revitalize Domestic Shipping


MAY 8, 2019 – MONTREAL, QC  Seafarers and other marine industry workers around the globe are gathering to rally in an international show of solidarity to save the Australian shipping industry. Organized by the Cabotage Task Force of the 19.4 million-member strong International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) based in London, UK, the day of action has been strategically planned to occur in the week leading up to the Australian Federal Election occurring on May 18th, 2019.


The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has been locked in a heated debate with the current Government over the necessity to bring back an Australian fleet of vessels, employing Australian seafarers to the Australian coast. After years of government inaction, Australian seafarers and members of the MUA are optimistic that a change in government will bring about much needed reforms to rebuild what was once a thriving domestic shipping industry.


The Opposition Labor Party has announced a series of policies to create a strategic fleet of Australian-crewed vessels along with regulations to strengthen Coastal shipping regulations. The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) stands strongly behind the maritime workers of Australia as they continue their fight for the implementation of legislation to protect domestic seafarers’ jobs and bring vessels back under the Australian flag.


In Canada, the domestic marine shipping industry is governed by the Coasting Trade Act which dictates that the movement of goods between ports in Canada must be done on Canadian-flagged vessels using Canadian seafarers. Known widely as Cabotage laws, these regulations promote a thriving domestic shipping industry that creates thousands of well-paying jobs for Canadian workers by ensuring job opportunities are made available for domestic seafarers. The current Australian government has failed Aussie seafarers by deregulating the industry to permit Flag of Convenience vessels with exploited foreign workers to operate on the Coast, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs in the marine sector for members of the MUA.


“Today’s global rally demonstrates the resolve and strength of transportation workers in Canada and around the world” says James Given, Chair of the ITF Cabotage Task Force and President of the SIU of Canada. “The MUA has been engaged in a battle to save domestic shipping jobs, and the SIU and all ITF affiliates stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in their fight to protect their jobs and save Australian shipping”.


Canadian seafarers, dockers, and other marine industry workers will be demonstrating in Montreal to show support for Australian seafarers. Across the globe, demonstrations will be taking place in front of Australian Embassies and Consulates, on the waterfront, in the streets, and in front of corporate offices as transport workers rally in support of Aussie seafarers who will head to the polls in the coming weeks with the goal to Save Australian Shipping.


For Social Media updates, follow the hashtags #SaveAustralianShipping #ChangeTheRules