Starting with a minute of silence to recognise the comrades who have been killed on the waterfront, delegates from MUA Youth, ATSI and Womens' committees gathered to hear a militant call to arms from WA branch and national leaders.
Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray, who noted that the WA branch was where he started as an MUA member and leader, noted the strong growth of the branch and the rise in numbers for the union as a whole. The Branch has hit 5,000 members; nationally, the union has grown in ten years dramatically to hit 16,000 members. "We’ve all but doubled our membership because we are a militant fighting union. The union will stand up and have a go," said Bray.
He also made note of the coming federal election. If the conservatives win, "There’s no doubt about it there’s going to be a Royal Commission into the union movement. They just need to throw enough shit at the union movement that workers want to distance themselves from it," said Bray. "We have to expect it will happen and we have to be ready for it. It’s about sticking strong with the union when it's under attack. You have to get behind the push to retain a labor government in this country. This is the time to get organised to get focused, to reach out, embrace and bring back people into the fold."
This branch has grown 470 percent over the last ten years, 70 percent in the last year alone," Cain said. "It's giving the union back to the members. We stand up for union rights in this country. It's about social justice."