INTERNATIONAL transport workers and unions are to this week rally outside Australian embassies and consulates around the world, as part of a global day of action to “support Aussie seafarers” and demand a strong future for Australian domestic shipping.

The day of action has been organised by the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

Australian seafarers are also demonstrating in Melbourne, Wollongong and Devonport, with small gatherings in Townsville and Adelaide also.

ITF Cabotage Task Force chair Jim Given said transport workers would not remain idle.

“The current conservative government in Australia has taken an active position not to support the domestic shipping industry that has resulted in the decline of Australian flag vessels and the loss of thousands of Australian seafaring jobs,” Mr Given said.

“The opposition Labor Party have declared their support for Australian seafarers and promised to implement a coastal trade policy with an Australian strategic fleet if elected. This is not only good news for the MUA but good news for the cabotage fight globally as it will be another example to help guide the worlds’ policy makers.”

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said the election was a referendum on the future of Australia’s coastal shipping industry.

“The federal government hasn’t just sat on its hands while Australia’s shipping industry shrunk, it actively supported that decline by signing off on temporary licenses that allowed Aussie seafarers to be replaced,” Mr Crumlin said.