18 June, 2014
Maritime Union of Australia Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith said: "The mass rally comes in the wake of the latest tragic fatality in stevedoring – with father of three, Anthony Attard, killed on board the Toll vessel Tasmanian Achiever in Melbourne last month.
"The rally marks a sharp escalation in the union's Waterfront Safety Campaign, which is aimed at stopping preventable deaths like Anthony's from occurring," Smith said.
"Stevedoring is Australia's most dangerous industry. Australian waterside workers are 14 times more likely to be killed than the average worker. In 2014, this is simply far too high.
"Unfortunately, too many employers in our industry, like Toll Group, still don't get it. Just eight days after Anthony was tragically killed, the Australian Logistics Council, a lobby group which represents Toll, publicly called for the Stevedoring Safety Code to be scrapped. This would greatly reduce safety on our waterfront at a time when it desperately needs to be strengthened.
"These tragedies are not accidents. There are causes. Safety must be mandatory. Safety must be law.
"Too many members have been killed. No family should have a knock at the door and be told their father, mother, son or daughter, husband or partner, is not coming home.
"The MUA invites every person who is interested in standing up for the nation's most at-risk workers to come along and rally in support of our campaign," he said.