As we head into the last few weeks of 2023, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your unwavering support. Each year comes with its own trials and tribulations and this year has been no exception. From Enterprise Agreement bargaining to disciplinary meetings, to protected action, to our Quadrennial Elections and everything in between, it’s certainly been a stressful and exhausting, but overwhelmingly, rewarding year. We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all MUA members the warmest of season’s greetings. We hope that you are able to have some time with your friends and family over the festive period and return to 2024 rested and recharged. We look forward to doing this all again in 2024. The year will be kicking off with South Australia hosting the Quadrennial Conference at the Convention Centre in late February. MUA SA
Ford, Matt Morgan and Josh Reilly who represented our branch at the 2023 Working Waves competition in Newcastle. We didn’t win the event, but we DID win the raffle for the second year in a row. Congratulations Matt on winning the 2023 custom made MUA Working Waves board. Please send us any photos if you take the board for a ride! Well done to all of you!
In July, SA Member Rob Duffield (Duff) travelled to Canada as the South Australian representative to stand alongside International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada dockers in struggle for wage justice and job security. The key demands of the ILWU were to put an end to contracting out of work, protection for current and future generations of dockworkers from the devastating impacts of Port Automation, and a fair pay rise that compensates dockworkers for their contribution to the economy and protects them from the impact of record inflation and spiraling cost of living increases. ILWU Dockers voted on their new agreement and returned to work in August. Awesome job Duff.
RENOVATION For those that don’t know, our office was the victim of flooding following heavy storms in July. As inconvenient as these things are, it gave us the opportunity to repurpose our upstairs and make the space more usable. We have now been able to repair our ceilings, curtains, carpets, add two new offices and add shelving to display historic memorabilia. If you’ve popped into the office since July, you would note the disarray as we create room for our builders. We look forward to our renovations being finalized in the New Year and creating a more versatile, accessible space upstairs. This improved space will assist us in the day-to-day running of the branch, but will now provide extra space for training, and delegates meetings scheduled for 2024 and beyond. There are many EA’s that will continued to be negotiated, and we can now facilitate dual training days where there are any clashes.
action The MUA has a close working relationship with -and is a huge part of- the International Transport Federation. This year the ITF Australian Inspectorate hosted numerous ‘Weeks of Action’ via the Nowhere to Hide campaign to address seafarer welfare, wage theft and non-compliance on vessels at our Australian ports. South Australian ports were identified, and all vessels inspected in late November. Tasmania and Victoria hosted weeks of action at the same time, and collectively across the three states there were 74 inspections which resulted in $5.5 million US wages recovered and extensive breaches to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). The MLC provides the basic requirements for seafarer’s welfare in the areas of wages, hours of rest, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and water, medical care on board ships, health and safety, accident prevention, repatriation, and employment agreements. The week was an eye opener for a lot of us on the lack of regulation on working conditions for foreign seafarers and simultaneously a grim reminder of the resources needed to tackle such enormous companies. A wholehearted thank you to the ITF Inspectors Aswin Noordermeer (Netherlands) Ryan Brazeau (North America) Josh Greer (New Zealand) Jamie McMechan (Australia) Dan Crumlin (Australia) Ian Bray (Australia) State Volunteers Dave Collins Paul Keane Dave Martin Clem Clothier James Donaghy Russ Martin Cesar Soltis Dan Pedler Tony Nealen Rick Newlyn Steve Linhart Brett Larkin Campbell Duignan And administrative and organisational support workers who made the South Australia event such a success; Kathryn Lee and Chelsea West
In 2023 we have strengthened our working relationship with SA Unions and have been delivering maritime industry specific HSR Training. Health and safety representatives (HSRs) play an important role in representing the health and safety interests of workers. The primary role of a HSR is to help communicate information about health and safety between employers and the workers. To our trained HSRs - we encourage you to consider the below when exercising your role; Represent – Are HSRs representing workers in safety matters including interviews & investigations post incident. Monitor – Are HSRs monitoring Safe work Procedures & documents, are they in date & relevant, do they need to be reviewed? Investigate – Are HSRs investigating complaints from workmates, is the boss allowing HSRs time to perform their duties? Inquire – Are HSRs inquiring into anything that appears to be a risk to workers’ health & safety? Inspect- Are HSRs inspecting the workplace any plant & equipment including vessels & their lifting gear? HSRs should be performing these functions, if you aren’t, take them back, if the boss isn’t allowing you, they are in breach and contravention of the act and need to be challenged. SAFETY IS OUR BUSINESS.
together with SA Unions and the ALP SA this year and were successful getting Industrial Manslaughter laws developed and passed through the SA Parliament. The ALP committed to this promise in the election lead up, and we ensured they followed it through. Not that we want bosses to go to jail, because that would mean a worker would have to die. What we want is employers and PCBU’s to make better decisions that lead to safer workplaces. Individuals will now face a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, whilst an offence committed by a body corporate is a maximum of $18,000,000 for conduct that causes the death of an individual if it substantially contributes to the death. nEW rEGulations to manage risks of psychological harm Psychological illnesses have a significant effect on workers’ health, as well as business productivity. Employers have ignored psychosocial hazards for far too long and regulations will come into effect on Christmas Day this year and will be supported by a code of practice on managing psychosocial hazards. These regulations are part of a significant national effort to better address the risks caused by psychosocial hazards at work and recognise that a workers’ psychological health is just as important as their physical health.
marcia munn This year we proudly commemorated a remarkable MUA woman, Marcia Munn. Marcia played an important role in the evolution of the Maritime Union throughout her life. Marcia was a committed communist, feminist and anti-capitalist. Marcia was a dedicated member of the Waterside Workers Women’s Committee Port Adelaide and supported many men through industrial disputes and hard times by sharing food, raising money and joining them in solidarity on the picket lines. The Women’s Committee funded six waterside worker’s basketball teams with Marcia stitching hundreds of uniforms and also hosted dance classes in the basement of the Waterside Workers Hall. Marcia was able to juggle the many responsibilities of managing her family and household, while also supporting the Union in any ways she could. Marcia wrote many letters, speeches and other political pieces on behalf of the Union, coordinated campaigns, coordinated elections and attended many political meetings. While Marcia was married to two different and equally influential waterside workers, Jim Mitchell and Rex Munn, she was a powerhouse in her own right. Vale Marcia.
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