Shocking allegations show profits more important than people 279



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How many times have we heard the rhetoric about saving Aussie jobs? However, the government’s commitment to protecting Aussie jobs has been brought into question after a company claims it was advised by a government official to sack local staff and hire cheaper foreigners.

A cruise line executive has accused a government official of advising he soften the blow from proposed new hiring laws by eliminating Australian workers. is reporting that North Star Cruises told a Senate inquiry the senior Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development bureaucrat suggested the company move operations to another country with cheaper wage rates.

The claim feeds into Labor’s concerns the China Free Trade Agreement could give Australian jobs to Chinese workers, however Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the accusations are untrue.

The written submission by Bill Milby of North Star Cruises to the rural and regional affairs committee said he had approached department officials on May 20 to warn the law change would make his company uncompetitive.

Mr Milby said one official had advised him to “consider taking our ship True North off the Australian Shipping register, re-register the ship in a suitable foreign country, lay off our Australian crew and hire a cheaper foreign crew’’.  The company had been able to grow from four Kimberley cruises in 1987 to 19 in 2014, increasing its permanent Australian workforce from three to 50.

Shadow Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said it was “disgraceful and unacceptable that the Australian Government, which should protect our national interest, is openly advising businesses to sack Australian workers”.

Prime minister Tony Abbott has said the free trade deal with China, which is opposed by unions, would secure the nation’s future for decades.  Mr Abbott has said he can “absolutely” guarantee that Australian jobs will not be at risk from the agreement, blaming unions for pedalling myths about jobs being at risk.

Do you think Australian jobs should be protected at any cost? Do you think it’s OK to lose some local jobs to overseas workers, if in the long run Australia becomes more profitable?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. If they don’t have this in writing its just another meaningless allegation.

    6 REPLY
    • And if the guarantee of employment of Australians first is not in writing then it is just another meaningless promise by Tony. Sorry you can’t have it both ways.

    • All the union bashers need to take stock of the working conditions, the holiday and sick pay, the penalty rates if they have enjoyed any of these in their working life, they need to get back in their box and stop knocking the unions, they are for Australian workers.

    • The allegation in the article unless verified is just that, an allegation. My view is that if it is already in the FTA, what harm could Labor’s addendum do by adding it. I’m not having six of one and half a dozen of the other in that I feel I have made a comment on two separate issues.

      1 REPLY
      • just an allegation Bill
        FTA China Australia Chapter 10 Section 10.4 Para 3
        “3. In respect of the specific commitments on temporary entry in this Chapter, unless otherwise specified in Annex 10-A, neither Party shall:

        (a) impose or maintain any limitations on the total number of visas to be granted to natural persons of the other Party; or

        (b) require labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effect as a condition for temporary entry.”

  2. more labor scaremongering they are really getting desperate

    5 REPLY
  3. Which company and was the comment backed by proof? Or it is just another attempt to undermine the agreement snd pump up Union lies.

    5 REPLY
    • Read the article perhaps. North Star Cruises. I would not be surprised as I suspect many of the current employees would be union members. The LNP would definitely prefer foreign workers and Australian jobs lost than an Australian Union member have a job.

    • Oh really Margaret you are so rusted on you simply do not absorb any comment that puts the libs in a bad light.

    • Funny, I’m not a lib. I’m open minded. So, you don’t want me to attack the Labor Party or The Greens, or The Sex Party or The Car Enthusiasts, or all the union bosses, because YOU won’t absorb MY comments! I’m free to attack the libs but no one else?? Bad form Joan. And my names not Margaret!

  4. No I don’t see any benefit re this Free Trade Agreement. We are a country who encourages the work ethic. Having our own young ( and not so young) unemployed because businesses can bring in “skilled” workers on 457 visas is not right.

    Recently, I’ve had a contractor who installed a product, made in China, and brought Chinese electricians to install it. They couldn’t speak, read or write English – the wiring was so badly and incorrectly connected that the electrical authority wouldn’t sign off on it. An Australian trained electrician had to re-do the wiring !!!

    3 REPLY
    • Rhonda,this is sad,my hubbie is an electrician ,and others i know as well are really worried about this sort of problem,as it can be a hazzard,and some one could get hurt or worse

    • This is disgraceful , even electricians from Europe have to be retaught the Australian system before they can work as an electrician ,

  5. It’s bad enough when you see what the staff of 7/11 Stores have been suffering and the same will happen if they bring in Chineese labour. Cheap, Cheap Chinaman – Chop, Chop, Chop! Only local labour should be used but if Tony doesn’t put his foot down, we will all end up living in a Third World country.

  6. There are hundreds of people here that need work so these people should be given the training to do these jobs we dont need more people from other countries when our own are in need

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