Regional Solidarity Takes Centre Stage at Global Union Event

The Maritime International Federation has been rubber stamped by global transport unions after a successful presentation was delivered at a meeting of affiliates of the International Transport Workers’ Federation.


At a fringe event of the ITF Fair Practices Committee in Perth, MUA Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman described the idea behind the formation of the federation, which currently consists of the Papua New Guinea Maritime and Transport Workers Union, Maritime Union of New Zealand and the Maritime Union of Australia.

Doleman discussed how the MIF would fit with the wider ITF and how the rules would limit and enable the member unions.

“The Asia-Pacific region has a long history of solidarity and cooperation and we would like to expand that cooperation into a more formal structure,” he said.

“The ability to work closely with our neighbours to empower working men and women is mutually beneficial for the members in terms of building capacity. He made particular mention of the Pacific.

“There are good unionists in places like Fiji and Vanuatu but they lack organisation because of external pressures such as military coups and a string of natural disasters,” Doleman said.

“By joining MIF they’re able to grow by sharing in our knowledge and resources and by being able to utilise our leverage.

“This has been exhibited in Papua New Guinea, where union density and member numbers are rapidly increasing to levels never previously encountered.”

In addition to the founding members, other unions such as Myanmar’s IFOMS, Indonesia’s KPI and East Timor’s SMETL have also expressed an interest in joining.