The international trade union community is mourning following the death of a Pakistani dock worker killed earlier this week at Hutchison Port’s Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT), after a reach stacker reversed over him.
The 58-year-old yard checker passed away at approximately 11:00pm on March 17, 2019, at the Civil Hospital Karachi less than an hour after the catastrophic incident.
“This is a tragedy. Every worker deserves to go to work and return home safely, every shift, every day. Our thoughts are with Mushtaq’s family, his workmates, friends and comrades at KICT Labour Union,” said Paddy Crumlin, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Dockers’ Section Chair.
“Today we mourn for a man who was only two years from retirement. This is the second time in months that I’ve been forced to say this: workers are losing their lives at Hutchison ports – an atrocious record for the biggest stevedore in the world – and families and friends are left to bear the scars.”
A worker who requested to remain anonymous today told the ITF that the incident could have been avoided, “Safety standards in the yard area are very bad. There is poor lighting in the yard and no one directing traffic management.”
The ITF is disturbed and alarmed to hear these details and that no official inquiry has been initiated by KICT management. The ITF join with the KICT Labour Union in calling on Hutchinson’s global management to immediately intervene and instigate a joint labour/management investigation into the incident that led to this fatality.
“This is yet another tragic incident that again raises serious questions about Hutchison’s safety procedures, and how seriously the company takes its responsibility to ensure the health and safety of its employees in ports worldwide,” said Crumlin.
“The ITF is uncompromising in our commitment to safety and Hutchison needs to know that the ITF will fight to make sure every worker goes home safe, every day.
“We again publicly call on Hutchison’s global management in Hong Kong to meet with the ITF to establish a process to resolve this horrific pattern,” concluded Crumlin.
This incident follows the death of five workers at Hutchison’s Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT), between 2016 and 2018, and a serious incident in 2018 at Hutchison’s Port Botany terminal in Sydney that left at worker at fighting for her life in an induced coma suffering a broken leg, broken arm and a closed head injury.