"No family should sit and wait at the end of the working day for a loved one who never returns" - Freo Wharfie Ash Huish tells the Howard Sattler show, 6PR NewsTalk, yesterday on learning of the death of a workmate
Howard, As I am sure you aware a waterside worker died today on the wharf in Melbourne. This takes it to three dead waterside workers in six months in Australia.
Today all of P&O waterside workers decided to strike for 24 hours in respect for the death of a fallen worker and to push for a National code of conduct.
Whilst many Australians think it's just wharfie's striking again today it's for a good reason and in 13 years on the job striking is very rare indeed.
Below are some thought's of mine in regards to the issue I would like to share with you on the issue.
Yesterday I woke and quietly showered, then dressed with caution as not to wake my wife.
I also displayed this same caution whilst making my coffee and packing my lunch as I didn't want to wake my two children and force the rigors of the day upon my wife any earlier than required.
I drove to work as I have done a million times before and met my work mates with coffee in hand and went about the work day.
The shift finished 12 hours later and I headed home knowing the kids would be in bed and I wouldn't have seen them today.
On my arrival home I walked into both their rooms and kissed them on the cheek telling them I loved them both. I then sat on the couch ate my dinner cold as I couldn't be bothered heating it up. I ask my wife how her day was and watched TV with her. I then went to sleep alongside her....
This is 'just another day in life of an Australian worker'.
It's not my yesterday that is the problem. It's someone else's today that really concerns and upsets me.
Today an Australian worker like myself in the industry, which I work, expected to have 'just another day in the life of and Australian worker'. However today he doesn't get the yesterday that I took for granted. Sadly today was his last today and he doesn't get a tomorrow. But his family, close friends and people like me who never knew him do get a tomorrow.
Whilst mine will be very much like my yesterday and now I will be grateful for that, I can't even contemplate his family's tomorrow without tears welling up in my eyes.
No family should sit and wait at the end of the working day for a loved one who never returns. Be it a Sundance CEO or a Melbourne waterside worker, no death in the work place is acceptable.
I could use this opportunity to push for a national code of safety on the wharves, which we need. I could even lay blame. I could even cry that I may be sued for the illegal 24hr stoppage I am currently on but I am not going to.
I just ask everyone tonight when your loved one returns from their place of work grab them hug them and tell them you love them because you never know when your today doesn't match your yesterday.
Howard regardless of how you vote or the colour of your working collar no one should die in the work place. We need to make change.
Ash Huish "Fremantle wharf worker"