Historique de L’UMF

UMF history

Marseille Sea Union 1904-2019 : Port professions, 115 years of future



Inception of the Marseille Sea Union, for the purpose of “protection and development of the maritime interests of the port of Marseille”.

At the time, the main objective was to coordinate the relations between shipowners, boarding and landing contractors, and port working force, notably by:

  • Defining categories of workers, with benefits associated
  • Setting a guaranteed minimum wage
  • Financially supporting social benefits (health care, pensions, providence)
  • Mediating and conciliating discussions between workers and employers concerning working conditions

Later, the structuring of the handling industry compelled the Marseille Sea Union to drop these social prerogatives; it then became an organisation of employers only, and regrouped every local operator in the port and sea domains.

As maritime activity developed in the west of the département, the following entities were born:


The User Committee of Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, which became the Sea Union of Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône and the Gulf of Fos in 1970.


The Regional Sea and River Union of Martigues.

1976 to establish the Sea and River Union of the Gulf of Fos.

These two associations merged in 1976 to establish the Sea and River Union of the Gulf of Fos.


The two Sea Unions of Marseille and of the Gulf of Fos united to establish the current Sea and River Union of Marseille-Fos and its region, which is today the only employers organisation to coordinate, represent and mediate within the port community.