BHP Abandons Ship
The company once known as The Big Australian has abandoned the last vestiges of its commitment to the Australian shipping industry.
BHP overnight advised the maritime unions that it is dumping the last two Australian-crewed ships that carry iron ore from Port Hedland in Western Australia to the steelworks in Port Kembla and to China.
The 80+ Australian officers and seafarers will all lose their jobs but BHP will use foreign crews on foreign ships to carry the same product to the same ports.
The engineers’ and officers’ unions (AIMPE and AMOU) have condemned the move and called on the Federal Government to intervene to reverse this attempt to further abandon Australian shipping and Australian seafarers.
The Federal Government’s temporary licence scheme makes it easy for BHP and BlueScope to abandon Australian shipping in favour of foreign crewed ships.
The Australian crews on the two ships agreed to a pay freeze from 8th October 2014 specifically to help the steelworks return to profitability.
BHP reported that its Iron Ore division made AUD$12 Billion in profits in 2017-18.
Bluescope Steel reported that its profits were AUD$1.5 Billion in 2017-18.
These companies have no financial reason to return these ships and dump these 90 mariners on the beach.
No Australian Government should be allowing this betrayal of qualified officers and engineers to happen under its watch.