01:09 pm, Tuesday 20 July, 2010
Work at 27 wharves has resumed on Wednesday after workers staged 24-hour stop work action the day before.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has called a 24-hour walk-off at wharves across the country after the death of a wharf worker on July 13.
The 41-year-old Merlbourne man was killed during pick-up and delivery operations at a dock in West Melbourne.
According to authorities, the worker was crushed to death by a 2.7-tonne steel beam as it was being lifted by a crane.
The walk-off was brought about by concern on worker safety as the July 13 incident was the third dock worker fatality in five months.
MUA said the shutdown also aimed to underscore the need for improved government regulation and enforcement and worker training.
MUA’s Paddy Crumlin said conditions need 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.”
A spokesman for the West Melbourne dock operator said the company was investigating the cause of the incident and that counseling is being offered to its workers.