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‘Safety through solidarity’ – Hutchison, we’re coming

09 Nov 2018
The alliance is between workers in three countries
In Sydney today union members from Hutchison ports in Indonesia, Pakistan and Australia joined forces to form a regional safety committee.

It comes in the wake of at least six deaths and many other serious incidents in Hutchison terminals in the three countries over the past two years.

Under the banner ‘Safety through Solidarity’ unions including Serikat Pekerja – JICT (SPJICT) in Indonesia, South Asia Port Terminal (SAPT) Democratic Worker’s Union in Pakistan and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), will be working closely together to protect wharfies, dockers and port workers from the abysmally low safety standards at Hutchison Ports. 

Suryansyah Bahar, deputy president of the JICT terminal in Jakarta, said: “What happened in Hutchison Jakarta was brutal and vulgar. There were four workers dead within less than 18 months.

“We absolutely must have the highest standard of safety among Hutchison Ports operations not only in Jakarta but in Australia, Pakistan and ports around the world. The safety through solidarity campaign will cover all port workers. We have to fight for the basic right of safety for workers.”

The MUA, SPJICT and the SAPT Democratic Worker’s Union have responded and formed the Asia Pacific Regional Safety Committee. Dockers from across Hutchison’s global operations are united to combat the company’s poor safety record.

All three unions are currently bargaining agreements with Hutchison Ports to improve the lives of their members, and safety is a key issue in all negotiations. 

Warren Smith, MUA assistant national secretary, said: “It’s an incredible thing that we have to organise globally to ensure people don’t die on the job. Well, that’s what we’re going to do.

“We’re going to fight and align our struggles as the issues are all too common. There is no space on the global waterfront for companies that do not respect safety and worker’s rights. Hutchison we’re coming."

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