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Maritime workers protest against ‘misrepresentation’ of national safety code

Waterfront workers around Australia will rally today in the name of workplace safety.

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is protesting against what it sees as a campaign against waterfront safety being waged by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and its business affiliates in the wider community.

Thousands of MUA members throughout the country will assemble outside ACCI offices today to demand an end to this campaign.

According to the MUA, the ACCI has interfered with the development of the National Stevedoring Code of Practice (NSCOP).

This code would create a national set of safety guidelines for stevedoring, and has been under development for several years.

MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith charges that the ACCI “has weighed in, delaying the code’s progress by making factually incorrect, misleading claims about the cost of implementation to the industry”.

“Every worker deserves to come home from work alive and unhurt. It is disgraceful for ACCI to misrepresent any impact on a company’s bottom line when it comes to protecting the safety of workers,” said Mr Smith in a statement yesterday (March 25).

The union representative said that any stevedore that was currently respecting safety regulations would not incur additional costs by adopting the NSCOP.

He said that with waterfront workers fourteen times more likely than the average Australian worker to die at work, the mere fact that profit was being offered as an argument against a national safety code was “an absolute disgrace”.

In NSW, workers injured on the job can claim for workers compensation. This can be extremely helpful in covering medical expenses, economic hardship due to loss of income and legal costs if necessary.

Anyone unsure about their entitlements can have a free consultation with no win no fee lawyers to clarify this sometimes confusing area of law.

The advantage of talking to personal injury lawyers is that they know workers comp law inside out and can give you invaluable advice about your claim – and what they could get for you.

Closer to home, a new poll by Unions NSW suggests that just over half of the state’s citizens do not approve of the O’Farrell government’s cuts to workers compensation payments.

Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon said that although the premier was celebrating the second anniversary of his election, the political cycle had not yet caught up.

“While the business community is cheering the government on for cutting workers compensation and privatising ports and ferries, working people are feeling the consequences,” said Mr Lennon.

© 2013 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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