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News News Unions want urgent action after the tragic death of yet another dock worker

Work at 15 wharves around Australia has ground to a halt after the death of the third worker in five months.

Staff at all P&O automotive and general stevedoring sites have walked out for 24 hours. A 41-year-old Melbourne worker was crushed to death during pick-up and delivery operations at Appleton Dock this morning.

Paddy Crumlin from the Maritime Union of Australia says it is time for conditions to change.

"We need to start getting some commitments off people that they're going to fix this," he said.

"That we're going to have a single safety standard in this country, we're going to have a single point of enforcement. That there is going to be training, that there's not going to be casualisation and short cuts on labour at the expense of people's lives. I mean they're not hard things to commit to."

"How can I assure families, mothers and fathers of young families,that they need not fear about their partners going to work in the morning? The fact is that it's hard to make that promise and it makes me sick to the stomach that that is the truth."

UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk responded saying that it is completely unacceptable that workers on Australia’s wharves should be risking their lives by going to work. “It is terrible that this has happened at all and for it to be the third death on the docks this year is completely shocking. Nobody should be risking their life just by doing their job.”

“This should not have happened and we need to ensure that serious steps are taken to ensure the future safety of the men and women on Australia’s docks.”

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