Waterside workers will attend memorial services across the country today to coincide with the funeral of wharfie Stephen Piper who was killed in a work accident on Appleton Dock in Melbourne on July 14.
The services will remember Piper, 41, husband and father of two young children, and also the lives of 7 other waterside workers killed on the job in the last 7 years.
Piper's death has devastated the waterfront community numbed by the loss of three workmates in the last five months after a period of steadily rising mortality rates.
The Maritime Union of Australia's National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said that wharfies and seafarers were in shock and the ceremonies would give them a chance to express their sorrow and support for the family.
"The members of our Union are naturally upset and many are frustrated and angry and want to see their mate off decently and with respect. As one of our members wrote this week: 'No family should sit and wait at the end of the working day for a loved one who never returns' ", said Crumlin.
"Today is a day for mourning rather than chest beating but the deaths and other serious injuries in 2010 represent a crisis in waterfront safety. Grieving workers and their families can take consolation in the determination we have to see that that there is urgent attention given at the highest level of Government and employers to see that our wharves are safe workplaces.
"With 3 deaths in 5 months there is fear and doubt in our workforce and their families. It is a small and productive national workforce with very strong bonds between them, and their work is essential to the national interest. We have communicated to Federal and State Governments and stevedoring companies the need for consistent safety guidelines and regulations right across the country. There is a national crisis due to clear safety failings and deficiencies over a long time and any further delay could mean the loss of another life. That is unconscionable." said Crumlin.
WHAT: National Memorial Services for deaths of Stephen Piper and other wharfies
Including the funeral service for Stephen Piper - Boyd Chapel, Springvale Cemetery, Main Drive
- Tributes to Stephen Piper and fallen comrades, reading of personal letter from wharfie Ash Huish, keynote speakers, wreath laying.
WHEN: Today Friday July 23 commencing between 12 pm to around 2.30pm.
WHERE: The memorial services will be held in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Fremantle, Adelaide, Hobart, Port Kembla, Townsville, Newcastle, Darwin and Devonport.
Media Contact: Paddy Crumlin 0418379660
Michael Meagher 0410 482367
LOCALITIES OF MEMORIAL SERVICES AND MARITIME UNION CONTACTS
Springvale Victoria 3171
(03) 8558 8278
Contact: Kevin Bracken
Tel 0400 077 563
Cnr St Vincent Street and Commercial Rd
Port Adelaide MUA SA branch, Adelaide
Tel 0419 517 487
Wynnum Manly Juniors
Contact: Mick Carr
Tel 0419 641 463
Stokes Hill Wharf
Workers Memorial Park
(Next to Sydney Entertainment Centre)
Little Pier Street
Tel: 0417 468 424
2-4 Kwong Alley
Contact Chris Cain
Tel 0407 850 084
Adjacent Jetty 4
Port Kembla Harbour
Contact: Garry Keane
Tel 0419 724 433
Merchant Mariners Memorial
Contact: Jim Boyle
Tel 0418 271 923
Union rooms 3/59
Contact: Jason Campbell
Tel: 0418 139 023
7 DEATHS ON THE WATERFRONT IN SEVEN YEARS
STEPHEN PIPER, Appleton Dock, July 2010
NICK FANOS, Port Botany, March, 2010
BRAD GRAY, Brisbane, February 2010
BOB CUMBERLIDGE, Westernport, March 2007
PETER ROSS, Appleton Dock, January 2007
DEAN ROBINSON, Port Adelaide, June 2006
JEFF GRAY, Appleton Dock, June 2003
Memorials will also honour earlier maritime worker deaths
TREVOR MOORE, KARRATHA SPIRIT 2008
BILLY DIXON, Searoad, Devonport, Tasmania, 1999
MICK CARABOTT, East Swanson Dock, 1998
BRYAN PATERSON, East Swanson Dock, 1997
ROGER STONE, 5 Darling Harbour, Sydney1992
ROY AUDET, Gladstone, 1992
REX LOWDAY, Geelong, 1992
JAMES CAIRNS, Melbourne, 1991
BRIAN GREAVES, White Bay, Sydney 1991
BARRY GIFFORD, 5 Darling Harbour, Sydney, 1990