Oil giant BP decided to take the last Aussie-crewed fuel tanker, the MT British Fidelity, off the Australian coast.
The vessel, currently in Singapore, was used by the company to move fuel from Kwinana to Adelaide and more recently Kwinana to Devonport/Hobart.
Ship manager ASP informed workers in a letter that BP had told them the contract for the vessel would be terminated on May 9. The crew raised objections in sailing to Singapore fearing their jobs were in jeopardy and despite assurances the ship would return to trade on the Australian coast, their worst fears were realized.
“ASP regrets the departure of the vessel and the possible need for redundancies to occur. These are decisions by BP and not ASP,” according to the letter.
In a statement, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) said it is disgusted at the decision by BP.
“The Turnbull Government’s hypocrisy is breathtaking – they want to remove hardworking Australians who pay tax in this country and replace them with exploited foreign labor on as little as $2/hr who are employed on Flag of Convenience shipping, which is itself a global tax scam,” MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said.