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Rail & Maritime Transport Workers Mourn Dead

THURSDAY 26 APRIL 2001

“Rail & Maritime Transport Workers Mourn Workplace Dead”

“The Rail & Maritime Transport Union and it’s members will join with other Unions to remember and mourn those who have perished in the workplace, on Workers Memorial Day” say’s the Union’s General Secretary Wayne Butson. “Each year there is a motto and this years is Honour The Dead – Fight For The Living and this reflects the twin objectives of highlighting the appalling human cost of workplace accidents and secondly the need to fight for stronger legislative protection and more effective enforcement by a well resourced OSH”.

Wayne Butson was commenting on International Workers Memorial Day which falls on Saturday 28 April with an additional special rally being held in Wellington on Friday 27 April at 1230hrs in the grounds of Parliament.

“Rail & Maritime Transport Union members feel very strongly about this day as our Union has suffered a huge loss of life particularly within the rail industry in recent years with 10 being killed at work since privatisation of rail in 1993 with 3 occurring last year” said Mr Butson. “The Union’s main Workers Memorial Day ceremony will occur at noon on Saturday in Christchurch, which was the site of two deaths in April and May of last year in shunting accidents, with family members being present to plant trees.” “Black balloons will be released to symbolise all New Zealand workers who have been killed at work”. “Ceremonies will occur in other centres throughout New Zealand with all trains stopping for one minute at midday on the 28th, with suitable public announcements being made on passenger trains to explain the stopping of the train”.

“It is essential that changes signalled by the coalition Government’s OSH Discussion paper are actioned and enforced” stated Mr Butson. “The Ministerial Inquiry into the Occupational Safety & Health of Tranz Rail Workers last year also signalled effective change when it recommended that the exemption of Tranz Rail Ltd from the OSH Legislation be revoked and we have been informed by the Minister of Labour that this change will be made during the passage of the OSH legislation later this year through the house”.

For further information please contact: Wayne Butson

04 473-6693 work 025 962-461 cellphone 04 570-2772 home


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