By Helen Kempton, 20 July 2015

PROTEST rallies will be held at Caltex refineries in Sydney and Brisbane today in support of the crew on board the Alexander Spirit, which is languishing in Devonport awaiting an order to sail to Singapore.

The 36 crew, contracted on the Alexander Spirit until 2019 to transport Caltex fuel around Australia, have been in Devonport for three weeks.

Industrial action was mounted when the crew learnt they would be sacked and replaced with a foreign crew when they arrived in Singapore.

That action was deemed illegal by the Fair Work Commission which ordered it to cease.

Five of the crew have left the ship on stress leave and the vessel’s owner, Teekay Australia, must hire a cook before the Alexander Spirit can leave port.

The interstate rallies have been organised by the Maritime Union of Australia to highlight the plight of the crew.

MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer said there was no valid reason for offshoring the tanker’s jobs.

“Caltex is a highly profitable oil company as was shown in their recent announcement of a $375 million half-year profit,” Mr McAleer said.

“The MUA will continue to fight for this and we are taking the fight straight to Caltex.”

The Alexander Spirit is listed to sail tomorrow.

Extracted in full from Perth Now.