What is The Union Show?

7 12 2010

The Union Show broadcast on community TV C31 in Melbourne Australia from 2005 to 2009 and is a rich source of information on unions and issues affecting unions in this country. Whilst the program is no longer produced for television, the producers, United Productions maintain both a Union Show blog and the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel as a means of disseminating union information that would otherwise be lost in time and in the morass of anti-union misinformation that is distributed by mainstream media.

An extensive archive of Union Show episodes is available for viewing at http://theunionshow.blip.tv. Current union information can be sourced at www.theunionshow.com.au and at the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel. There are many other web sources for union information that deal mainly in the written word. One of those sites and perhaps the venerable example is www.labourstart.org.au where you will find links to many other like-minded information outlets.


ITF congress closes with march through Mexico City

15 08 2010

The ITF’s forty-second congress – its biggest ever and first in Latin America – will close today with a march through Mexico City in support of Mexican workers’ rights. Delegates are leaving the conference centre and proceeding to the Zócalo square via Avenida Madero.

Some 1376 participants from 368 trade unions in 112 countries attended the event, which began on 5 August and which determines the policies of the ITF – a global union federation with 760 affiliated trade unions with 4.69 million members in 154 countries – for the next four years.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented: “There’s never been a bigger or more successful ITF congress. These last two weeks have been filled with opportunities to come together, learn from each other, and forge new paths for the future.”

He continued: “It would be impossible to list all the highlights of this congress. There have been too many of them, from our first ever youth conference, to the highly successful climate change conference and the election of a new President for the organisation. Paddy Crumlin, General Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia. But something I must mention is the way that our being here has helped us to stand alongside our Mexican colleagues, and join them in their defence of union rights, in their fight for decent conditions and, in the case of Mexicana Airlines, for their very jobs.”

He concluded: “As this congress comes to its end, we have committed ourselves anew to campaigning for fairer and safer work at sea, on land and in the air.”

Paddy Crumlin commented: : “I’m excited to be able to take on this new role and play my part in moving the work of the ITF, its hundreds of affiliated unions and their millions of members forward through the implementation of a comprehensive organising programme focused on trade union regeneration and revitalisation.”

Dockers demand worldwide lobby on health and safety

15 08 2010

Calls by dockers’ unions for a global union response to growing health and safety concerns in ports following several fatalities over the past year were renewed at the dockers’ section conference on Saturday.

Section chair Paddy Crumlin, national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, reported that there had been three deaths on the docks in the past six months in Australia.

Employers, he explained, had not been taking the issue seriously or responding adequately. The union had taken protest action stopping port activities for 24 hours.

Crumlin said: “Which ever employer it is, we should respond in the global movement and show that we won’t tolerate this. We must act as one.”

He added: “There should be comprehensive standards in occupational health and safety and minimum standards of training for dockworkers. And global network terminal operators must have minimum standards in all their operations worldwide.”

Ryosuke Kitahata from the National Federation of Dockworkers’ Unions of Japan explained how the union’s work with the ministry of land, transport and infrastructure had led to the introduction of a bill on container safety. It contains a number of provisions, such as control over the contents and weight of containers and guidelines on packing.

Kitahata said: “The ITF should create a movement for the safe transport of marine containers and policy for international standards on safe transport of countries.”

Frank Leys, ITF dockers’ section secretary, gave a presentation on the ports of convenience campaign. Several unions commented on the implementation of the campaign and stated that it was vital to increase dockworker power worldwide. They also suggested that more resources be allocated towards these efforts and that links between the flag of convenience and ports of convenience campaigns be strengthened. This would ensure that material benefits for dockers could be delivered more effectively and the issue of cargo handling by seafarers resolved.

Delegates observed a minute’s silence to remember Pedro Zamora, the Guatemalan dockworkers’ leader, murdered in 2007 in the port of Quetzal, and all other dockers who had lost their lives in the course of their work.

MUA elected to ITF womens committee

13 08 2010

Mich-Elle Myers, MUA women’s liaison officer elected to the International Transport Workers Federation’s women’s committee at ITF Congress Mexico City today

The election is international recognition of the union’s commitment to women’s rights.

“Being on the women’s committee advances rights for all workers however our focus is organising and protecting women,” said Myers.

“I am honoured that the women of the Asia Pacific have elected me. I hope to achieve equity for women in all areas of work, paid parental leave as well as improved facilities and conditions for women – MUA women and for the worlds transport workers.”

MUA National Secretary and ITF executive board member Paddy Crumlin said he was very proud that an MUA woman continues the work Port Botany waterside worker and former womens liason officer Sue Virago pioneered. “Mich-Elle’s election really does epitomise the MUA’s position of promoting women’s rights,” he said.

Paddy Crumlin is new ITF President

13 08 2010

Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of the MUA (Maritime Union of Australia) has just been elected President of the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) at the global union federation’s world congress in Mexico City.

Triumphant: Paddy Crumlin with outgoing ITF President Randall Howard

The ITF represents over 4.6 million members of 760 trade unions worldwide and its President is tasked with helping hold the organisation to account between these congresses, which set its policy for the next four years. Paddy Crumlin, is the 22nd person to take on the post.

“I’m excited to be able to take on this new role and play my part in moving the work of the ITF, its hundreds of affiliated unions and their millions of members forward through the implementation of a comprehensive organising programme focused on trade union regeneration and revitalisation.”

For more details please contact:

At the ITF in London, Sam Dawson: Tel: +44 (0)20 7940 9260. Email: dawson_sam@itf.org.uk

Paddy Crumlin in Mexico City, Tel: +61(0)418 379 660. Email: paddycrumlin@mua.org.au

In Australia, Zoe Reynolds, MUA Media and Projects Officer. Tel:(612) 9267 9134.

Mobile (61) 417 229873. Email: Zoe.Reynolds@mua.org.au