MUA Statement On ALP Leader Elections

As members of the Australian Labor Party engage in an unprecedented democratic consideration regarding the future leader of the party, the Maritime Union of Australia has issued the following statement.

Statement by the Executive Board of the Maritime Union of Australia

Australia is  entering  a new, and potentially dangerous era for all working Australians, with the coming to power of the Abbott Coalition government. As trade unionists,  we know that many challenges lay ahead of us. We enter into this era knowing that it is incumbent upon us to build alliances and a unity of purpose with like-minded people, and to support and strengthen the political representation and voices who will stand with working men and women and their unions to ensure that what we have fought for in the areas of social justice, environmental sustainability,economic equity,democratic recognition, peace and freedom are not undermined by an elitist or self serving political agenda.

A key partner is the Australian Labor Party, which is now embarking on an unprecedented process to choose its next leader. From the MUA's perspective, we believe that it is fortunate that the two candidates standing to be ALP Leader, Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten, have a demonstrated exemplary record supporting the rights of workers in the discharge of their wider political responsibilities. In their respective previous roles in Government both Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten were always available to meet and were supportive of a positive engagement on critical policy development and review, whether it was shipping and maritime reform or in many other areas of industrial rights. While the outcomes were balanced by the overall needs of all stakeholders and affected parties the maturity and openness of the engagement was in stark contrast to the articulated and actioned anti union policies of the coalition, and indeed some elected members of the Labor Government itself

We believe working Australia and Federal Labor will be in good hands no matter who wins the vote.

The MUA has welcomed the involvement of rank and file members of the ALP in this part of the decision making on leadership within the party as a process of empowerment and rebuilding trust and ownership  by those individual members in their party and its future. 

For that reason the MUA encourages every ALP member to carefully appraise the strengths and weaknesses of both candidates and vote consistently with their own judgement. That independence lies at the heart of this process.

We think that the importance of this vote is also central to the  process of  further reform, democratisation, openness and a fuller participation by ALP members in the policy , representation and ultimately success of the Labor Party itself. We strongly support further reforms that give the rank-and-file member greater say in their ALP.

Paddy Crumlin

National Secretary