President Given’s visit comes on the heels of Canadian seafarers demonstrating solidarity with their Australian brothers and sisters. In February, over 100 SIU of Canada members rallied outside of the Australian embassies in Ottawa and Toronto, calling on the Australian government to strengthen important cabotage laws which are crucial to protecting jobs.
“The SIU of Canada along with international resources through the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) are unwavering in their support for Australian Seafarers,” says Present Given, also chair of the ITF's Cabotage Task Force.
“We are mobilizing across the globe to combat this negligence,” said Given.
During his trip to Australia, Given addressed members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), which is working tirelessly in Australia to prevent further layoffs and strengthen domestic labour protections. President Given solidified the international maritime union community’s commitment to Save Australian Shipping: “ The leadership of the MUA has initiated a strong local campaign but the global union movement must now flex our muscle to assist” Given added.
The SIU of Canada is calling for a world day of action to support Australian seafarers.
“The time has come for a coordinated action across the globe in order to highlight the blatant disregard for Australian seafarers,” Given said.
The ITF will remain active in Australia and continue its efforts to strengthen Australian cabotage law. At home, the SIU of Canada is also committed to continuing its efforts with Canada Steamship Lines to get Australian seafarers back up the gangway.
“When we support our brothers and sisters, our industry becomes stronger. It is our duty as maritime leaders to protect our workers and protect our industry,” says Given.
“The whole of the global union federation is watching Australia right now, and we will not back down.”