Hanafi Rustandi

It is with shock and sadness that the ITF reports the death of Hanafi Rustandi, a true giant of trade unionism, while representing seafarers at a pivotal meeting in Japan.

ITF president and MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin and Joe Fleetwood, general secretary of MUNZ, sent the news from the scene: “We sadly report that friend and comrade of the MUA, MUNZ and the ITF, and long term leader of the Indonesian seafarers’ union the KPI, and ITF Asia Pacific chair Hanafi Rustandi has passed away suddenly in Tokyo where the ITF dockers’ and seafarers’ negotiating team is meeting with international shipowners to finalise the IBF (International Bargaining Forum) international agreement.

“Brother Hanafi was found by MUNZ general secretary Joe Fleetwood, who was in the next room at the hotel, and he and comrade Crumlin were in attendance for the attempt to revive him over the next hour.

“Hanafi was a regular attendee of the MUA national council, quadrennial conference of members and branch conferences, particularly in Western Australia, along with attendance at MUNZ executives and conferences.

“He was a fierce supporter of Australian and New Zealand seafarers’ right to work and in particular intervened on a number of occasions to ensure offshore vessels working out of Indonesia in Australian waters were manned by Australian crews and firmly rejected any attempt by offshore operators to replace Australian crews with his or any other nations’ seafarers. He worked closely with comrade Fleetwood and MUNZ in fighting the wage slavery in the international fishing industry, particularly in New Zealand.

“A long-time union official, his shout of “Fight from the Front” was well known around the world and was well recognisable everywhere,  in his MUA t-shirt making that call during the Your Rights at Work  campaign against the Howard Government.

“The national secretary and president of the ITF, together with MUNZ general secretary Joe Fleetwood and ITF general secretary Steve Cotton have extended their, the unions’ and ITF officers’, staff and affiliates’ deepest sympathies to his wife and family and to the officers, staff and members of the KPI, as well as his many brothers and sisters worldwide, particularly in the ITF.

“Vale Brother Hanafi, small in stature and giant at heart. Seafarer, trade unionist, labour leader and internationalist. Much loved. Man of humour, deep faith and family. Now at rest after Fighting from the Front to his last.”

See an album of photos of Hanafi Rustandi fighting for workers’ rights below. 

ITF general secretary Steve Cotton described the Hanafi he knew: “It feels unbelievable that such a vibrant and ever-fighting personality is no longer with us. We grieve for him, and for his family, friends and union members.

“Hanafi was a battler for what he believed in. He never deviated from that path, even during the many regime changes in Indonesia, and often at personal risk. His visit to Iran to find out the situation for bus driver unionists there is just one example of his courage and sense of duty.

“Hanafi has died as he lived, a strong and outspoken advocate for trade unionists, and a defender to the last of seafarers’ rights. The world has today lost a tireless and irreplaceable campaigner. We mourn his loss and remember his example.”

Biography

Hanafi Rustandi was president of the KPI (Kesatuan Pelaut Indonesia), chair of the ITF Asia Pacific region, a member of the ITF executive board, and a member of the Indonesian Maritime Council. Born in February 1945, married, with four children, Hanafi became a KPI branch chair in 1980, then an ITF labour education officer two years later. In 1987 he was elected general secretary of the KPI, the Indonesian seafarers’ union, in which he served until his sudden death. 

You can share your memories of this inspirational trade union leader in the comments section on this page. 

 

 

 

 

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ASSIL ABDULRAHIM

475 Days Ago
I feel so sorry for that loss. It was sad sudden news. I have known Hanafi for 10 years, and he was an example of a good leader and successful intelligent man and big brother. May God bless his soul.
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Machau

520 Days Ago
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Brother Hanafi. He was an outstanding leader who will be greatly missed him. I still cannot believe that he died so unexpectedly. We will miss Brother Hanafi, and we will cherish all the happy memories we had with him. We send our deepest condolences to KPI and to Brother Hanafi’s family.
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Petr Osichansky

524 Days Ago
We knew each other for more than 20 years. I remember him as a purposeful and a Trade Union oriented friend. Express my deepest regrets and sincere condolences to the relatives and colleagues of Hanafi in Indonesia.
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Aung Thu Ya

524 Days Ago
I am very shocked and saddened to hear of the great loss of Bro. Hanafi. He will be always remembered by the former Seafarers Union of Burma (SUB) and members Myanmar seafarers.
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S. Vella

525 Days Ago
We, General Worker's Union are shocked to hear about his loss therefore we would like to express our condolances and offer our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. Hanafi's dedication for better working conditions will never be forgotten.
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Yahya

525 Days Ago
It's a shock to loss 2giant trade unionists at the same day, Comrade Mchafu Chakoma, comrade and friend as well as Comrade Hanafi. It is a big loss to their family, friends, trade unions and ITF family well. May their soul rest in peace. ZASU's condolences to their amily, friends, trade unions and the ITF Family.
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Ruud Touwen

525 Days Ago
This sad news came to me via qQ4bhqmany friends and it is hard to believe that Hanafi is no longer among his family and his colleagues. I remember Hanafi as a good friend, also from his previous profession when he served as one of our oilers in the engine room of the as"Rotterdam" the cruise liner we had a few years ago our CSTF meeting.
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Giles Heimann

526 Days Ago
This news is incredibly sad. I remember Hanafi as a dedicated, passionate and gentle man who was always ready to engage and inspire mutual understanding. I will remember the pleasure of his company in all the dealings I had with him. A true friend and champion of the Maritime Industry. May he rest in peace, in the sure knowledge that he and his achievements will be remembered.
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Giles Heimann

526 Days Ago
giles.heimann@bs-shipmanagement.com
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Stamatis Kourakos

526 Days Ago
The sad news of the sudden death of brother Hanafi, were a shock to me and I still cannot believe that he no longer is among us. He was a great man, a true friend and a real fighter for the suport of the seafarers' rights. I want to express my deepest condolences to his family and to all our brothers and sisters in KPI for their loss.
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