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Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll

Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says.

The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union – come at a time when ports are banking record profits.

“Port of Tauranga spokesperson Sara Lunam today claimed the port wasn’t responsible for the 26 injuries at its workplace because other companies operate there.

“Most people will be disgusted at the port’s attempt to wash its hands of this appalling safety record.

“The increasing casualisation of workers has led to a blurring of responsibilities at busy and dangerous workplaces such as ports. This casualisation will only increase further under the Government’s employment law changes being passed today.

“National’s argument that removing meal break entitlements will make workplaces safer is absurd. Tired employees working straight shifts without a break will only increase workplace accidents.

“New Zealanders rightfully expect their workplaces to become more, not less safe,” Iain Lees-Galloway says