The international dockworkers’ community is in mourning following the death of an Indonesian worker who was killed on the job at the International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) facility in Jakarta overnight.
Local unions say a 40-year-old man was fatally crushed at 22.10 local time when a refrigerated container was dropped onto his truck, crushing the cabin and killing the driver. This is the second workplace fatality at the Port of Jakarta in three weeks.
International Transport Workers’ Federation President Paddy Crumlin said this was a heart-wrenching time for all dockworkers and that this accident could have been avoided if the ICTSI Jakarta terminal was properly run.
“Every worker deserves to come home safely at the end of their shift and our thoughts go out to this man’s family, friends and co-workers,” Crumlin said.
“While we cannot pre-empt the findings of an official inquiry, ICTSI has a demonstrably poor record when it comes to safety in the workplace.
“This incident raises serious questions about ICTSI’s traffic management systems and specifically whether they had adequately separated moving vehicles from suspended loads.
“Given their chequered history, we also need a thorough investigation into whether poor maintenance and equipment failure have played a role in this tragic death of a worker.
“Extreme fatigue will also need to be investigated. Like many workers at ICTSI, this man was employed by an outsource labour supply company called Persada.
“Low-paid outsource workers at ICTSI terminals are paid poverty wages and frequently work massive hours just to make ends meet. The the link between high rates of outsourcing and bad safety outcomes is well documented.”
The ITF last month launched a global report into ICTSI which showed a pattern of severe safety deficiencies across the Philippine-based company’s network of terminals.
The report particularly highlighted the lack of adequate systems to separate people and machinery, and a failure to safely manage the risks of suspended loads, along with a number of other issues.
“The ITF, and our union affiliates, have observed an emerging pattern of labour violations in the ICTSI network: a failure to respect the right to freedom of association; poor safety standards; and illegal outsourcing of labour,” the report says.
“Many of these violations are in breach of domestic law in the countries where ITCSI operates and contravene international labour conventions.
“They also contravene ICTSI’s own policies and statements, and call into question the company’s ability to effectively manage their global business and ensure the same standards and performance across all of their terminals.”
Crumlin said: “ICTSI has been the target of international condemnation in recent months over the company’s sloppy management, poor safety standards, and a distinct lack of compliance with local laws and international labour conventions.
“This month the Government of Papua New Guinea has been the target of global protests calling on the government to review the decision to award port operations in Lae and Port Moresby to ICTSI.
“After today’s tragedy, these protests are set to continue until ICTSI changes its ways and begins to engage with unions and their workforce to ensure fair wages and safety on the job for all of their dockworkers around the globe.”