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Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand

New Zealand’s waterfront workers have affiliated to a global organization of dockworkers.

The Maritime Union of New Zealand voted at its July 2022 National Council meeting to affiliate to the International Dockworkers Council.

That meeting was addressed by IDC Asia–Oceania representative Paul Keating, who is the Secretary of the Sydney Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the affiliation is a natural progression for the Union.

“Dockers and waterfront workers have very close international bonds as a result of us all being part of the first globalized industry, maritime transport.”

He says common issues faced by dockworkers throughout the world included automation, technological changes, hostile anti-worker laws, privatization, and GNTs (global network terminal operators.)

Mr Harrison says building international unity amongst workers was a priority for the IDC.

He says the IDC was formed in 2000 following the struggle of the Liverpool Dockers in the 1990s. In 2022, the IDC has over 140,000 dockworkers and port workers in its ranks globally.

Mr Harrison says the MUNZ affiliation to the IDC is complementary to the affiliation of the Maritime Union to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF.)


The IDC (International Dockworkers Council) is an association formed by organizations of dockworkers from all over the world. It is defined by its basic principles as being a united, independent, democratic, assembly-based working-class organization.

The IDC objectives are to support member unions in winning and maintaining appropriate labor standards and working conditions in the sector for all port workers worldwide, to create a network of international solidarity in defense of the profession and to actively participate as an international movement of workers standing up to the economic globalization of businesses in the sector.

Globally, the IDC is the only international organization that coordinates and directly brings together dockworkers’ unions.