National Council met on day two for strong reports from our international comrades, MUA veterans, growth and campaigns, and organising and research. Branch reports were given by Queensland and Sydney.
Tuesday opened with National Secretary Paddy Crumlin addressing the Council on the Union's International Strategy and how the union is working to implement the ITF 2010 Congress Decisions in both Australia and the region.
Crucial to this work is strong involvement in both the region and particularly the sub-region, building the campaigning and activist structures needed to organise regionally into the future.
The National Secretary and ITF President also gave a brief overview of the structure of the ITF and how it is operating in the Region (Asia Pacific) and Sub Region (Oceania).
Following his address, the Council was addressed by Shannon O'Keefe, campaign co-ordinator from the ITF Sub-Regional office, and from trade union representatives from New Zealand - Garry Parsloe from MUNZ, Reg McAllister from Papua New Guinea, and Jose de Costa (Zito) from Timor Leste.
The MUA is proud to continue its strong regional alliances and networks and Council thanked all international guests for taking the time to travel to Australia to speak to the Council.
Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray reported on strong growth in the union over the last year - the union has had a net growth of 10.5% over the last year with every branch showing growth.
Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith reported into the research and mapping work that the union is undertaking and also the training programs the union is investing in.
National Officials reported into the National Stevedoring Code of Conduct process and also into shipping, offshore and diving safety issues.
Other reports on the day included an inspiring report from MUA National Veterans Secretary Fred Krausert who spoke about the work of the veterans and retired members. As always, Fred's report highlighted that MUA members may retire from the workforce, but never from the struggle.
The afternoon saw branch reports from Queensland and Sydney.
Queensland Secretary Mick Carr reported on the strong growth in Queensland and new organizing strategy, which is paying dividends. New organisers are now based in the growth ports of Gladstone and Townsville. The amalgamation of the southern and northern Queensland branches has also been smooth and resulted in new growth and better structures.
Sydney Branch Secretary Paul McAleer and Deputy Secretary Paul Keating reported on its ongoing priorities to defend workers against the worst of privatisation, which is becoming prevalent under the new Government in NSW.
The branch is also working on ongoing delegate training and development, and building capacity within the branch.