National Secretary Paddy Crumlin and General Secretary of MUNZ Joe Fleetwood sadly report that friend and comrade of the MUA, MUNZ and the ITF and long term leader of the Indonesian Seafarers Union and ITF Asia Pacific chair Hanafi Rustandi has passed away suddenly in Tokyo where the ITF Dockers and Seafarers negotiating team is meeting with International shipowners to finalize the IBF international agreement.
Brother Hanafi was found by MUNZ General Secretary Joe Fleetwood who was in the next room at the hotel and he and comrade Crumlin were in attendance for the attempt to revive him over the next hour.
Hanafi was a regular attendee of the MUA National Council, Quadrennial Conference of members and Branch Conferences particularly in Western Australia along with attendance at MUNZ executives and conferences.
He was a fierce supporter of Australian and NZ Seafarers right to work and in particular intervened on a number of occasions to ensure offshore vessels working out of Indonesia in Australian waters were manned by Australian crews. He firmly rejected any attempt by offshore operators to replace Australian crews with his or any other nations seafarers. He worked closely with Comrade Fleetwood and MUNZ in fighting the wage slavery in the international fishing industry, particularly in NZ.
A long time union official, his shout of Fight from the Front was well known around the world. He was well recognizable everywhere in his MUA T-shirt making that call during the Your Rights at Work campaign against the Howard government.
The National Secretary and President of the ITF, together with MUNZ General Secretary Joe Fleetwood and ITF General Secretary Steve Cotton have extended their, the unions and ITF officers staff and affiliates deepest sympathies to his wife and family and the officers staff and members of the KPI as well as his many brothers and sisters world wide, particularly in the ITF.
Vale Brother Hanafi, small in stature and giant at heart. Seafarer, trade unionist, labor leader and internationalist.Much loved. Man of humour, deep faith and family. Now at rest after Fighting from the Front to his last.