Latest dock death proves need for action 

May 21, 2012

Our friends in the ILWU have given us the sad news of another docker death. This time it was a worker in the Port of Seattle, who, it is reported, was crushed between a forklift truck and a container. His colleagues in ILWU Local 19 stopped work for 24 hours following the incident.

An investigation is under way into the accident, and if one thing is certain it is that its resulting lessons will be learnt by the ILWU and all of us in the ITF docker unions.  I’ve said it before: every death is one too many.  Every death is a failure of the accident prevention that we not just champion, but have to actively fight for every day. It’s a duty we willingly take on – and expect employers and the authorities to do the same. You can and must get involved too. To find out how visit www.itfglobal.org/dockers/health.cfm.

As chair of the ITF’s dockers’ section I have passed on our sadness about this death to our friends in the ILWU (see www.mua.org.au/news/ilwu-member-dies-after-waterfront-accident), but condolences alone won’t bring back this man, or prevent another accidental death in the future. Only sustained joint action can do that, and that is what we in the ITF are utterly committed to doing.

See also www.itfglobal.org/presidents_page/?p=45

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