Photo courtesy ITF

Union Calls for Inquiry After Stevedore Falls to Death at New Zealand’s Auckland Port

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2013
April 19, 2022

The International Transport Workers’ Federation is joining the Maritime Union of New Zealand in calling for a national inquiry into port safety following the death of a dockworker at New Zealand’s Port of Auckland.

Although details are yet to be confirmed, initial reports indicate the stevedoring worker died after “a fall from height” while he was working on a Singaporean-flagged container vessel named Capitaine Tasman, according to the ITF.

The ITF is also backing calls by the Maritime Union of New Zealand for a national inquiry into port safety following the “unacceptable number of deaths and injuries” that have taken place in New Zealand ports in recent years.

“Disappointingly, this is not the first death in recent years to have taken place at the Ports of Auckland,” said ITF President and Dockers’ Section chair, Paddy Crumlin. “It is not good for any port or national industry to develop a reputation as an unsafe place to send your loved ones to work, wondering if they will come home at the end of their shift. For this family, their loved one didn’t come home. No family should have to go through that,” he said.

In August 2020, a worker at the Port of Auckland was crushed to death when a container was dropped during a lifting operation at the Fergusson Container Terminal. In 2014, another stevedore was seriously injured in a fall while unloading a containership.

“Any workplace death is devastating for family and for those you work with, and especially in a close workplace community like stevedoring. Our hearts go out to those who will be mourning today, and we affirm our solidarity to support them in getting the answers they deserve,” said Crumlin.

According to the Maritime Union of New Zealand, the victim was employed at the private stevedoring company Wallace Investments that operates at the Ports of Auckland. Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison said the tragedy reinforces the dangers faced by port workers everyday throughout New Zealand.

Ports of Auckland is actually made up of the main Port of Auckland and also smaller ports of Onehunga and Chelsea Wharf, in addition to four inland ports.

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