The Geelong refinery dispute may not hold the record for the longest campaign for workers’ rights, but the dispute over safety nevertheless won due to a concerted campaign.
Five crew members aboard Alcoa ship the MV Portland were woken at 1am on January 13 by up to 30 security guards, handed their passports and forcibly removed from the vessel. The guards then escorted aboard a replacement crew, believed to be foreign seafarers, who immediately began sailing the ship towards Singapore.
The 38 crew of the Victorian ship MV Portland docked in Portland, in south-west Victoria, have refused to sail the vessel to Singapore on a one-way journey. The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is demanding the Federal Government and aluminium producer Alcoa reverse a decision to sack the workers and allow a foreign-crewed ship take over its route between Western Australia and Victoria.
Buru Energy is an oil and gas exploration and production company that plans to explore and develop the gas resources of the Canning Basin, in the south-west Kimberley region in Western Australia. The company wants to use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to test for tight gas flows in four wells — the Asgard well in Noonkanbah, two Yulleroo wells on Yawuru country, and Valhalla in an unclaimed area. Buru has refused to provide details of their chemical risk assessment to traditional owners. The Wilderness Society released this statement on July 30. * * *
On June 12 the Geelong Women’s Unionist Network (GWUN) hosted a book launch for Women of Steel at Geelong Trades Hall. The purpose of the event was not only to launch the book recounting the Jobs for Women campaign which took on BHP in Wollongong in 1970s but also to raise funds for the Jobs for Women film project.