At the first meeting of the working group in Hong Kong, working group members from Asia, India, Australia, Europe, the Arab World, Africa and the Americas discussed and implemented strategies against the increasing deaths and injuries across global waterfront. Over the past calendar year, more than 50 dockers have died in preventable incidents.

During a review of global incidents, the meeting noted the serious accident this week at Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) where dangerous chemicals dropped from a Rubber Tired Gantry. A union investigation found equipment failure and an inexperienced operator were the main reasons.

Hutchison is the biggest stevedore in the world and has an obvious responsibility to its global workforce to meet occupational health and safety requirements.

Suryansyah Bahar, deputy president of Serikat Pekerja Jakarta International Container Terminal (SPJICT) said and addressed Hutchison’s atrocious recent record of injuries and deaths in their ports.

At the JICT, between 2016 and 2018 five workers died, and there have been more than 10 incidents (including near misses) per month in 2018, which means more than one hundred incidents to date this year alone. This is a direct result of the sacking of a hundred experienced workers, who were replaced with new inexperienced workers.

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Paddy Crumlin, ITF president and Dockers’ section chair, pointed out the united dockers’ combat against Hutchison’s poor safety record and added that the goal of the ITF Dockers Occupational Safety and Health Working Group, is to support ITF affiliates in building a safety culture and assisting them in working with terminal operators who continue to press workers into dangerous working conditions.