A letter from National Secretary Paddy Crumlin

Published: 4 Mar 2021

Dear Comrade,

You may have heard by now that Delegates from the Mining and Energy division voted earlier this week, at their National Convention, to endorse a resolution to leave the CFMMEU.

Delegates have a right to express the concerns they have as a division of the CFMMEU. The MUA is a small division; mining and energy workers concerns are our concerns; however,
the concerns that led to Mining and Energy delegates endorsing a resolution based on misrepresentations from their leadership requires some clarification in a broader context.

• Mining and Energy division leadership held secret discussions with Attorney General Christian Porter. The discussions with Porter led to legislation being developed, specifically
designed to disrupt, and divide strong, amalgamated trade unions and turn their resources on each other. This cannot benefit any members within the CFMMEU divisions or the
broader labour movement.

• This is the same Christian Porter who just two years ago led an aggressive and vocal Government, emboldening employer groups like AMMA, Master Builders and Stevedoring companies,
to wage a public campaign and attempt to introduce legislation that would have blocked our amalgamation. They knew what we knew: Workers and the community are infinitely better off with

• The other divisions of the CFMMEU were never told about the arrangement made by the mining and energy division and Christian Porter.

• The ACTU were never consulted about discussions with Christian Porter and the legislation designed to pull our divisional structure apart with dire consequences for the wider trade union movement.

• The Construction & General division are not our enemy! There has never been an intent by C&G to dominate and dictate to other divisions.

• The circumstances around Michael O’Connor’s leadership and Michael’s resignation as the CFMMEU General Secretary have been turned into a weapon, which a minority within the CFMMEU
National executive pointed at John Setka.

• The same minority sought to use John Setka's deeply personal situation as a vehicle to drive their agenda, putting the business of the union and fighting for working women and men last!

• Some Members of the Divisional Executive engaged in the ultimate betrayal of workers trust, working against the interests of 110,000 CFMMEU members, publicly leaking confidential executive
discussions to the press. These actions brought to bear the most aggressive attacks by political and industrial forces in a deliberate attempt to destabilise and destroy the CFMMEU from within.

Some deeply troubling lies have been used to misinform Mining and Energy delegates, in an attempt to convince them and the rank and file that they would be better off on their own, without the
collective strength of the CFMMEU. This must be challenged!
Mining and Maritime workers have enjoyed a wonderful relationship of solidarity for generations. We’ve stood together in solidarity across Australia, and internationally, united on the basis of the
deepest of trade union principles: that we are stronger together!

The same solidarity forged through generations of Maritime and Mining history; pit to port compacts; historical maritime and mining conferences and the countless industrial struggles - supporting
each other on picket lines, lockouts and in times of tragedy - was the catalyst to the MUA uniting, through an historic amalgamation, with Mining & Energy, and the other divisions, in 2018.

Walking away from the strength of our amalgamated union with more than 110,000 members is counterintuitive in the face of hostile and sustained attacks on workers and their right to safe and secure jobs.

Maritime workers have a long and proud history as an integral part of the coal supply chain; we’ve transported the coal mined by Australian coal miners to the world for generations.

The MUA will continue to support mining and energy workers and fight alongside them to defend their right to secure and safe jobs, we always have and we always will!

In Solidarity

Paddy Crumlin
National Secretary


Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney