MUA On Permanent Campaign Footing: Crumlin

Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary Paddy Crumlin has officially opened this year’s 2016 MUA National Council under the theme 'A Campaigning Union'.

Today marks the first formal event in the new MUA/ITF Organising Communication Centre.

MUA National President Chris Cain welcomed National Councillors and guests to the meeting.

International guests include those from New Zealand, PNG, East Timor, Indonesia and the ITF in London.

Crumlin said the new training centre would help the union in its capacity to campaign.

"We have gone back to our industrial Sydney roots with this development,” Crumlin said.

"We have brought it back to its original state with bricks and fireplaces. It is a fantastic display of our heritage."

Crumlin said the Quadrennial Conference earlier this year was a great success and had set the platform for the next four years of the union.

"We had a great conference based on consensus and engagement in discussion so policies are fit for workers,” he said.

"We are a class based organisation based on class struggle and this extends to our International friends and program - we are all a part of the wider struggle.

"There is plenty of pressure on workers and this week is about renewing and revisiting Conference Resolutions. We had consensus on the way forward and this is about progressing that agenda. We have been working hard to deliver the outcomes from the Conference as have the branches.

Crumlin said it is increasingly clear that wealth and power out of touch – just look at Donald Trump – yet the war on workers is is not slowing down.

"The way forward is a merger with the CFMEU and the type of union we can be,” Crumlin said.

"The Conference Resolution (on the merger) was prescriptive and has conditions. This is a big merger and we will take it steady and make it consistent with our political and industrial position."

"We have been working hard on superannuation and workers capital … we got close with Shorten who is close to us with his family background and we want to have continuous campaigns around political issues that are important to workers."

"We have been pushing the Your Rights at Work Campaign to continue but we have to be careful how we support political campaigns.”

Crumlin said the union needed to continue to work with independents as well as the ALP and the Greens.