MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin has become the first Australian president of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) following his election at their quadrennial Congress in Mexico City on the 12th August..
The Federation's executive board recommended Paddy for the position and was unanimously endorsed by the congress's 1500 delegates following 10 days of congress deliberation, regional and sectional meetings.
"The ITF finds itself at a critical time for workers around the world following the global collapse of international economies. It is now our responsibility to protect the rights and futures of all transport workers against the excesses of capitalism set against a slow and uncertain recovery of transport related industries." said Paddy in his acceptance speech.
Paddy joins former ACTU Secretary Sharan Burrow's recently elected General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation on the international stage of trade unionism.
Their friendship and effective working relationship head up a formidable team committed to ensuring all working men and women are treated with dignity and respect.
Over many years Paddy has forged changes to the way transport unions work together in Australia and internationally within the ITF's sections which include Road, Rail, Aviation, Seafaring, Dockers and inland waterways.
In Australia he is seen as a driving force in the development of ATUF the Australian Transport Unions Federation (Rail, Tram and Bus Union, Transport Workers Union of Australia and the Maritime Union of Australia) and has successfully campaigned for the Sub Regional office of the Asia Pacific regional sector of the ITF now based in Sydney.
As well as leading the formation of strategic alliances between Australian, New Zealand and Regional unions including the Oil and Gas Alliance and Trans-Tasman Transport Alliance. Paddy is also widely respected for his central role in trade union development in East Timor and Papua New Guinea,
As the Chair of the strong ITF Dockers' section Paddy was instrumental in the development of the POC campaign's world wide data base of ports, organised port workers and associated employers.
In his role as co-chair of the International Bargaining forum Paddy has been a key negotiator in the IBF agreements which protect the working conditions and safety of more than 100,000 international seafarers working on flag of convenience ships.
"As president I commit to all sections of the Federation and to all of the 5 regions around the world. Working along with newly re-elected General Secretary David Cockcroft and a fresh Executive Board it is now time for the ITF to excel. It is now more important than ever that the ITF works as a united progressive and effective industrial and political force. Workers of the world demand that we rise to these challenges and I will ensure the ITF answers that call." Paddy Crumlin said.