Wellington Port Worker Dies After Accident

MUA officials expressed deep sympathy for the workplace death of a New Zealand maritime worker, citing the tragedy as an affirmation of the need for a stevedoring national safety code.

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MUNZ member and Centre Port (Wellington) employee Mark Samoa was killed over theweekend (early Sunday morning) when he was crushed between a forklift and cargo during a warehouse packing operation.

An investigation into the death is being carried out by CentrePort, Wellington police and the New ZealandMinistry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

"A safe workplace for all maritime workers everywhere around the globe is a top priority for our union and the International Transport Workers Federation," said Paddy Crumlin, MUA's National Secretary and the president of the ITF.

"We extend our condolences to Mark's family and say to them, and our comrades at MUNZ, that his tragic death only hardens our resolve to make sure every maritime worker comes home safely to his or her family."

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Picture: Fallen Comrade Mark Samoa with his niece Azarliah. Mark is also survived by his partner Sarah and three children Gemma, and two boys Maleko and Cale]  

The MUA has been campaigning for several years for the adoption of an Australian national stevedoring code of practice.  

Major stevedoring and shipping companies in Australia have consistently tried to try water down the draft code despite the ongoing dangerous nature of the industry.

"Stevedoring is dangerous work and the loss of one of our comrades from New Zealand thisweek, and the loss of another comrade from Quebec, Canada last week, makes it even more clear why we must ensure a strong code of practice for the industry in Australia," said Warren Smith, MUA's Assistant National Secretary who has led the safety code campaign.

"When the shipping and stevedoring companies talk safety our answer is that every effort must be taken because the life of every maritime worker is of value to his/her family and work mates.”

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Probe launched into port death