Memorial For Nick Fanos As Union Pushes For Wharf Safety Continues

One year on from the tragic death of Sydney waterside worker NIck Fanos, family and workmates at Patrick, Port Botany honour their dead.

Patrick Port Botany terminal stopped at 2pm change of shifts today as workmates and family of the late Nick Fanos, tragically killed in a job accident on March 28, 2010, held a memorial service and wreath laying. Members from DP World, Cargolink and Ativo maintenance also attended the service, conducted by the family's Greek orthodox priest.

"I remembered coming through the gate today getting that call 12 months back. It was the worst call I ever got," said Sydney Branch Secretary Paul McAleer. "We come together today to remember this tragedy. To the Fanos family we are always with you."

The family priest paid gratitude to all workers for the opportunity to pray. "Nick's soul is with us and following us at this gathering," he said before reading the Lords prayer in both English and Nick's native Greek.

Workers on the midnight shift also held a minutes silence.

The memorial service comes as the union ramps up its push for national regulation and training to make the wharves safe.

Nick Fanos was one of three wharfies killed in job accidents last year.

"A year after Nick's death there is significant stalling from employers on reaching a safety code," said Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith. "It's okay to get up and say they want to work together with us on safety. But only stevedoring regulation that underpins a comprehensive code of practice can provide current and future generations of wharfies with the best possible hope they will return home from work each day to their families. It's absolutely imperative that a stevedoring specific regulation is put into place as soon as possible. It will save lives. Only then the lives of our fallen comrades will not be in vane. The MUA won't stop until there is a proper safety culture on the nation's wharves."

On March 24 Paul Keating, relieving Sydney branch official and Warren Smith, met with stevedoring industry employers, state OH&S regulations, Federal Government representatives, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Safe Work Australia on how to close the gaps in national safety regulations.

"There was considerable employer opposition to the process and both DPW and POAGS wrote to SWA to reject the work that the MUA had provided as the basis for consideration of the meeting," Warren Smith reports. "Their submissions were rejected."

Full report on Safe Work Australia Stevedoring Safety Working Group and POAGS EBA can be downloaded here