MUA Terminal Conference, March 2023

Published: 23 Mar 2023

MUA Terminal Conference 2023

Wharfies from around the country converged in Sydney at the MUA ITF Conference Centre for a significant conference of delegates representing every major employer and port.

The Conference, held across three days in mid-March 2023, was an opportunity for dockworkers to compare working conditions, employment agreements, deliberate on grassroots policy resolutions and set out the Union’s priorities for the future of waterfront work.

Delegates representing workers employed by Patricks, Victoria International Container Terminal, DP World, Hutchison and Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal passed resolutions that will deliver wage justice for maritime workers amidst soaring inflation caused by capitalist profiteering, safety demands to protect wharfies and seafarers from unscrupulous shippers and terminal operators, and for industrial solidarity between terminals but also for other maritime workers including those employed by Svitzer Towage working in our ports.

The Union continues to monitor the manipulations of global shipping volumes by shipowner cartels which will disproportionately impact Australian workers as global container volumes reduce to pre-COVID levels. The reorganisation and rationalisation of shipping cartel structures demonstrates once again the vulnerabilities of Australia's economy and the significant policy blind-spot for independent analysts at the ACCC and the Productivity Commission who continue to ignore or misunderstand the true causes of maritime sector productivity troubles.

Other key resolutions passed, included:

  • Wharfies work for Wharfies – protecting stevedoring work from being assigned to seafarers by unscrupulous employers in contravention of AMSA safety standards.
  • Stop the Killer Stone – calling for a ban on engineered stone products that are causing silicosis in construction workers
  • Two Year Terms for Agreements – in light of economic and political uncertainty, new agreements will be set at two year lengths where it is advantageous to the membership.
  • Uluru Statement and Voice to Parliament – Unanimous support for constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Nations’ peoples and solidarity in their struggle for recognition and respect through a Voice to Parliament.



Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney