MUA and ITF President Paddy Crumlin has opened the 2012 MUA national conference, welcoming a range of delegates and international guests.
Highlighting the policy and strategy for the next four years, Mr Crumlin covered several topics including international solidarity, technological advances and preparing the youth to ensure that the union continues to fight from the front.
Celebrating the MUA's 140th anniversary, Mr Crumlin stressed the importance of keeping the MUA strong.
The MUA's strength would only continue through the union's active rank and file, domestic alliances with the other unions and the ITF.
"You need to have a go," he said.
"You need strong unions to have industrial leverage as we are living in a shrinking world and we need to be prepared to fight the issues."
Mr Crumlin welcomed more than 250 delegates from state and territory branches, plus guests from some of the world's most powerful trade unions.