ITF Dockers Start Fight for Safety after JICT Incident

DockworkerIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pexels under CC0 Creative Commons license

The Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT), part of Hutchison Ports, has recently witnessed an incident when dangerous chemicals were dropped from a RTG crane, according to data provided by the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

A union investigation found that equipment failure and an inexperienced operator caused the incident, adding “yet again to Hutchison’s mounting incident record stemming from outsourcing and contracting out work to inexperienced operators.”

On the back of the incident, the ITF Dockers’ Section Occupational Safety and Health Working Group has agreed to launch an aggressive action plan to improve the safety and health of the world’s port workers.

At the inaugural meeting of the working group in Hong Kong, working group members came from Asia, India, Australia, Europe, the Arab World, Africa and the Americas to discuss and implement strategies to fight back against the mounting death and injury toll across waterfront worldwide.

“We are appalled yet again by Hutchison’s callous disregard for life and limb, and stand united in our utter condemnation and preparedness to fight so that every worker goes home safely,” Suryansyah Bahar, deputy president of Serikat Pekerja Jakarta International Container Terminal (SPJICT), said.

Between 2016 and 2018, five workers died at the JICT and there have been more than 10 incidents per month in 2018, ITF said, adding that this “is a direct result of the sacking of a hundred experienced and unionised workers, who they replaced with inexperienced workers.”

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