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ITF mourns death of docker at Ports of Auckland

The ITF Dockers’ Section is in shock after a young New Zealand docker died today after his straddle crane overturned at Ports of Auckland at 3:45am on August 27th.

The ITF family passes on its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the worker, and joins with the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) in mourning his tragic death. 

Paddy Crumlin, ITF Dockers’ Section Chair and National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, said today: “This is a tragedy. Every worker deserves to return home safely at the end of their shift. Our thoughts are with the family of this young man, his workmates, friends and our comrades at MUNZ.” 

“Another dock worker, has been killed at work. This is fast becoming a global epidemic. We know that ports are among the most dangerous workplaces in the world but every workplace death is preventable.”

“The death of this young worker again reinforces our determination to hold governments, employers and regulators to account and to continue calling on them to work with unions to eliminate health and safety risks.”

This latest death comes after calls from MUNZ to the Director of Maritime New Zealand, Keith Manch, for enforceable regulations and improved safety standards on the New Zealand waterfront, following three deaths in New Zealand in 2017. The ITF Dockers’ Section supports this drive for greater safety and is working with unions globally to raise standards on the docks.

Only last week, MUNZ warned that reform was a matter of life and death to the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, the Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, and early last month to the Minister of Transport, the Hon Phil Twyford.

Joe Fleetwood, General Secretary of MUNZ said today: "This tragic death indicates again the urgent need for enforceable regulations together with mandatory standards of work practices across the New Zealand waterfront. If the government, port companies and stevedoring employers are serious about preventing deaths on the waterfront they must commit to reform the current lack of enforceable regulations.”

“We need to put an end to the toxic culture on the New Zealand waterfront where productivity and profit prevails over safety. We again call on the government, together with the Ports of Auckland and other employers, to get moving on it immediately before we witness another preventable death."

 

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