Solidarity In Cork And A Family Friendly Spirit

I had the good fortune of attending the Anna Stewart Program (for women labour activists) in August for eight days and the International Transport Workers' Federation Global Network Terminal conference in Cork (Ireland) in September for three days.

I had the good fortune of attending the Anna Stewart Program (for women labour activists) in August for eight days and the International Transport Workers' Federation Global Network Terminal conference in Cork (Ireland) in September for three days.

The Anna Stewart Program is to help women get more involved within their union.

Over the eight days I was able to spend time visiting five different unions within Tasmania. The agenda for the program this year was family friendly provisions within our own work places.

My company, TT-Line, already has some good family friendly provisions so I set out to try to improve one that we have already. I chose to try get  an increase the paid compassionate leave from three days for immediate family to 10 and the extended family from one day to three.  

To do this I have drafted a letter to my co-workers along with a survey to see if this is a widely felt matter.

Throughout out the program we spent time talking to women that are and have been active and high up within their unions.  We also had visits to Parliament House and lunch with Lisa Singh. We went to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission and spoke with Deputy President Pauline Shelly and we visited the Lady's at the Anti Discrimination Commission about their jobs and what is involved.

I got a great deal out of the program and am putting the things I learnt to use.  I would recommend the program to anyone that is interested when it next comes around.

Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to be able to represent the MUA women.

Ireland

After traveling half way around the world the MUA delegation made it to Cork in Ireland for the ITF GNT  Network meeting for the Docker's section,  September  21-23.

 Over the three days we heard from Tiemen Meester the head of human resource and labour relations for APM who gave a presentation on how the APM ( which is a GNT operator ) is doing through out the global economic crisis and their plans for the future.

We also herd from Sarah Finke and Steve Trowsdale of the ITF on POC data base and went through a session on how to use it.

MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin, who also chairs the ITF Dockers Section and Frank Leys, Chair Dockers Section the ran a few sessions about how we are going to work and fix things for the world's dock workers.

We were split into groups to work through what areas of the world were covered and how we go about getting greater coverage with the GNT'S that come under the ITF already.

I gained a lot of knowledge on how these things operate in the dockers section and how things differ from the seafaring side of things.

On the picket

After the conference some of us bussed it up to Dublin to go give support to the Dublin Dockers that were on strike and have been for some time now. The solidarity was such a great experience.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to have been able to attend the conference. I meet some very inspiring people whilst I was there.

To everyone from Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Argentina, London, the USA and all the great Aussies thank you very much.