New methyl bromide research a major positive step

The Maritime Union of New Zealand says that new research on methyl bromide gas at the University of Canterbury is vital to ensuring workers and local residents are not at risk from the use of the toxic fumigant.

Maritime Union General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the early reports of a possible link between methyl bromide and nerve damage, while not surprising, should make it clear that use of methyl bromide must be immediately stopped while further research is carried out.

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International report on crew abuse highlights abuse in New Zealand waters

As the Maritime Union fights for the rights of seafarers in New Zealand waters, a new report from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) to the United Nations paints a disturbing picture of abuses of human rights at sea.
The report names the case of the ‘Sky 75’ in New Zealand waters as one of “ruthless exploitation of fishing crews.”
The New Zealand ITF and Maritime Union took action when 10 Indonesian crew left the Korean registered fishing vessel ‘Sky 75’ in the Port of Nelson in September 2005.

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A grim Christmas for foreign fishing crews

The Maritime Union says the arrest of shipjumpers in Nelson is not solving the cause of the problem.
Six Vietnamese shipjumpers were arrested on Tuesday night in Nelson.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says action is needed to ensure that crew members are being employed under decent conditions.
“This Christmas, there will be overseas crews working in New Zealand waters in dangerous conditions, for low pay, suffering abuse and exploitation, while we turn a blind eye because it is making a fat profit for someone.”

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Department fiddles while crew members jump ship

The Maritime Union says the Department of Labour’s stance on two Vietnamese fishermen who have jumped ship in Nelson is unacceptable.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Department of Labour has stated in the media it will not act until formally notified by the fishing vessel charterers that crew members are missing.

“In this case, the two missing crew members have obviously jumped ship from the Sky 75, like the ten Indonesian crew members before them, and these two fishermen are probably living rough.”

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Maritime Union backs calls for Methyl Bromide inquiry

The Maritime Union is supporting calls for an inquiry into the toxic gas Methyl Bromide, used as a timber fumigant in New Zealand ports.

A group of Nelson widows has called for the inquiry after six former port workers contracted the rare and fatal motor neurone disease, which has already led to the deaths of five.

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