Hutchison Terminals' Unions Form Safety Committee to Combat the Company Poor Safety Record

Damas Jati - Jakarta, 11/11/2018, 10:51

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Some unions, representing workers across Hutchison’s global terminal operations, have come together and formed a Regional Safety Committee to combat the company’s poor safety record overall in the region. 


The unions involved include Serikat Pekerja JICT (SP JICT) in Indonesia, South Asia Port Terminal Democratic Worker’s Union in Pakistan, and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), the unions joint press release said.


"Wherever we are located, the value of our lives is the same and Hutchison Ports must elevate their safety standards to the highest international standards."


"Safety through Solidarity is our slogan and we will be working closely together going forward to protect wharfies, dockers and port workers from the abysmally low safety standards at Hutchison Ports," it said.


According to the unions, there has been too many fatalities and serious incidents at Hutchison operations with at least 6 fatalities and many other serious incidents over the last two years in terminals in our three countries. "Our joint activity is the only means we have to protect our lives," the press release said.


Suryansyah, Deputy Chairman of SP JICT said: “What happened in Hutchison Jakarta was brutal and vulgar. There were four workers dead within less than 18 months. JICT is like a killing field. 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.”


Umer Farooq Finance Secretary from South Asia Port Terminal Democratic Worker’s Union in Pakistan said: “We are not machines – management says to all workers to work fast not safely. When we work we don’t get safety boots or uniforms and it’s all about work fast but we care about our safety.”


Warren Smith Assistant National Secretary of the MUA 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 were 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 company’s that do not respect safety and worker’s rights. Hutchison we’re coming.”


Paul McAleer, MUA Sydney Branch Secretary said: “Workers at Hutchison terminals across the region have come together in the great tradition of maritime workers to campaign against this Stevedore who have demonstrated a horrific history of catastrophic injury and death. The Safety through Solidarity campaign will succeed, because the resolve of workers to stay safe and go home to their families will always be more powerful when we fight internationally than the Company’s pursuit of profit.”


Bob Carnegie, MUA Queensland Branch Secretary said: “Hutchison Ports, the largest Port operator in the world has perhaps the worst safety record and the most exploitative working model of all major terminal operators. It is a system which maximises hours, minimises breaks, creates fear and uncertainty amongst the workforce. The Queensland branch hopes this is the start of bringing Dockworkers in our region closer together under the most important banners of safety and solidarity. The Branch sends its warmest solidarity to those international guests and as part of our family we wish them well and will stand by them through all their struggles and profoundly thank them for making the long journey to Sydney”.


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.


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