Global union federations the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and IndustriALL Global Union have welcomed news that two of their Australian member unions are considering a merger that would create a new ‘super union’.
ITF affiliated union the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and IndustriALL affiliated union the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) have announced merger talks.
Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL general secretary, commented: “Strength in unity is our central conviction. I applaud the members and leaders of these two great Australian trade unions, CFMEU and MUA in their bold merger. IndustriALL and the ITF are working together on the global level to build union power through strategic supply chains. The new union in Australia will advance that work.”
Steve Cotton, ITF general secretary, added: “This is exciting news. It means Australia’s biggest union is on its way, backed by its friends and colleagues in the international union movement. This merger is potentially historic and will help guarantee a better working future for those working in Australia.”
News of the proposed merger was also applauded by the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), whose general secretary, Sharan Burrow, stated: “This is great news for Australian workers, especially the members of the CFMEU and the MUA. Organising maritime workers together with those in the CFMEU's sectors is a major step forward, at a time when workers' rights to union representation are under sustained attack."