Mining and Maritime Australian workers donate to refugees

The saga of the 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who, due to Australia's hard line policy on asylum seekers, spent weeks stuck on the Oceanic Viking off the coast of Indonesia, has seen Australian unions pledge $10,000 to the refugees to help them in their crisis.

Paddy Crumlin, national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia stated: 'It's Australian seafarers who have been with these people through their ordeal and they have been moved to make a meaningful humanitarian gesture. The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) with the CFMEU (Mining and Energy Division) have agreed to donate the money.' The unions have been praised for their stance.

In addition, a number of labour and political organisations from the Asia Pacific region, have also put out a joint statement condemming the policies of the Australian, Indonesian and Malaysian governments towards asylum seekers.