In a further sign of the strengthening of ties between maritime workers around the globe, the MUA, US International Longshore and Warehouse Union and MUNZ inked key ports alliance agreements to broaden campaigning across borders on behalf of maritime workers.
Scott Mason, president of ILWU Local 23, explained that the pact signed between the WA Branch and his Local came after visits of solidarity between the two unions. "We talked about the similarities, about the waterfront," he said. "We are off to a really good start. This won't just be a piece of paper. This is going to be a work in progress and we ‘ve already started laying out our next steps, short term goals, medium goals and long-term goals."
[Picture: Wllie Adams of ILWU explains new pact as, from left, Chris Cain, Scott Mason and Adrian Evans listen]
Willie Adams, ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer and a member of Local 23, added: "It’s for the rank and file, by the rank and file. My local has that same passion so it was a natural fit for us to come together. Our friends are here."
The Solidarity agreement reads in part:
[Picture: Chris Cain and Scott Mason hold signed pact between MUA and ILWU]
"The alliance between our two organisations at this time represents the necessary commitment to international solidarity required for labour to be successful in this time of corporate globalisation...Both branches are militant and progressie and share an approach to rank and file campaigning that unites us."
"As the world becomes smaller with fewer and fewer industrial conglomerates controlling more and more of the worlds capital and resources, we must be innovative in our strategies to protect and enhance the wages, hours and working conditions of our members."
The WA Branch also formalised a Solidarity pact with the Wellington Branch of the Maritimes Union of New Zealand.
[Picture: Chris Cain and Wellington Branch Secretary Mike Clark celebrate pact signing]
The Pact reads in part:
"The make-up of our workforces and our communities are very diverse. We will learn from each other how best to assure that our diversity is our virtue...The collaborative commitment will also be applied to training and safety. The maritime industry is an inherently dangerous place to work with far too many workers killed globally each year."