The Maritime Union of Australia has already made its mark on the first day of the Labor Party Conference in backing, moving and speaking on a number of resolutions.
The three-day Melbourne conference was opened with a standing ovation for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten who addressed the crowd in spruiking the ALP’s environmental policy.
Shortly after the opening, party platform resolutions got underway. MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin revved up the crowd in his usual way in speaking to two resolutions regarding superannuation and retirement.
The first time Crumlin graced the stage was to amend the following to an existing Labor resolution. He was the mover and the Transport Worker’s Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon was the seconder.
In speaking to it, he said, the not for profit industry superannuation model, was the most successful form of superannuation in Australia, outperforming the retail funds and self managed super funds.
“The trade union movement, in partnership with a previous Labor Government, was the architect of this highly successful equal representation model of superannuation that operates with the sole intent of improving member outcomes – improving their retirement income,” he said.
The second time Crumlin took the podium was to speak on a resolution moved by MUA WA Deputy Branch Secretary Adrian Evans, which read as the following:
In recognition of the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples labor supports exploring the introduction of early access to preserved superannuation accounts, retirement and aged pensions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Shortly after that, MUA WA Branch Secretary Christy Cain, spoke in his usual firebrand style on the topical China Free Trade Agreement in a resolution that was moved by the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union President Andrew Dettmer.
Cain spoke about how the free trade agreement would allow businesses to exploit voiceless overseas workers. He said it was already an unseen issue in the shipping industry that would creep onshore if such agreements were allowed to pass.
He called on the Australian Senate to block unfair free trade agreements such as ChFTA.