Seafarer dies while lashing cargo

16 Nov 2018

On 14 November a seafarer, Dennis Gomez Regana, died at Southbank Quay in Dublin while he was lashing cargo on board the MV Francop.

ETF dockers’ section chair Terje Samuelsen said ‘We are deeply saddened by this tragic death and express our condolences to Dennis’ family. Everyone should have the right to get home from work safely. No worker should be asked to do tasks that put his or her safety at risk, as was clearly happening on the MV Francop.

‘Our position is very clear: lashing and unlashing are dockers’ work. These are dangerous operations and can only be done by people who are properly trained. That is why we have been running a campaign to reclaim lashing together with ITF and our seafarers’ unions.

‘In fact, a new clause on dockers’ work was included in the IBF agreement concluded in February this year, which made clear that lashing is indeed dockers’ work and should not be undertake by seafarers. This tragic death comes while we are working to gather all involved parties around the table to discuss the implementation of this agreement. We believe that the enforcement of the new clause, to be implemented by no later than 1 January 2020, will help prevent accidents of this kind.

‘At the same time we will keep putting pressure on policymakers to change existing rules that mean lashing and unlashing is done by seafarers in some European ports,’ added Thomas Mendrzik, chair of the maritime sections within ETF’s German affiliate ver.di

‘As part of our ongoing national lashing campaign, today as ver.di we are sending yet another wake-up call to policymakers in all concerned German regions. They have the full power to make a clear political choice and change the existing rules. This will improve safety for seafarers and safeguard dockers’ jobs.’

The ETF/ITF European lashing campaign is part of the of the ETF’s Fair Transport Europe Campaign, which brings workers and unions together to fight social dumping and exploitation in the transport sector.