ITF, MUA pledge assistence to Japanese workers

March 15, 2011
Photo from

This appeal is reprinted from the website of the Maritime Union of Australia. You can also support the appeal launched by Europe solidaire sans frontières (Europe in Solidarity Without Borders).

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Japanese dockworkers, seafarers hit hard by tsunami

March 15

Tens of thousands of people have been rocked by earthquake, engulfed by tsunami and now, in the port of Sendai, consumed by fire.

Now thousands more are suffering nuclear fallout and radiation exposure.

There were about 3300 vessels off Japan's east coast when the tsunami hit. Five ships are grounded, 4 adrift, 17 crew missing to date. Countless dockworkers still missing.

"As always transport workers are at the forefront of maritime disaster," said International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) President and MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin.

Japanese Coast Guard were still searching for the Indonesian crew on the Japanese flagged Tuna fishing boat Kuni Maru No.3 missing since the tsunami hit the coast on Friday, Japanese unions report.

Meanwhile unions have been unable to contact some port workers at Miyako and Shiogama Sendai terminals. In Miyako both the union and company rooms have been swept away and most of the seawall is under water. In Shiogama Sendai container terminal (see photo) phones and internet are still down, the wharves are annihilated and containers scattered around the yard. The union has been unable to confirm the safety of dockworkers.

The Japanese seafarers union, JSU and Zenkoku Kowan officers and staff and their immediate families are reportedly all safe.

In a letter to Zenakowan the All Japan Dockworkers Union and the All Japan Seamen's Union (JSU) Paddy Crumlin, MUA national secretary, ITF president and chair of the ITF dockers section pledged support on behalf of the worlds 4.7 million transport workers around the world.

"The images in the newspaper of the devastation of Sendai port are shocking, as are those from surrounding areas," he wrote.

As MUA National Secretary, Paddy Crumlin noted the recent generosity of Japanese dockworkers and their expression of sympathy and support for victims of the Queensland disaster. This, he said, underscores the values and strength of the international union movement particularly within the ITF.

Now it is time for us to stand by Japanese working families in your time of need, he said.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so through the MUA appeal account - It is important you put your name and "Japan" in the narrative.

Account Number for internal (CU users internal transfers) account number: 802-884 4626S3 - Japan Appeal

Account number for external transfer (non credit union member) account number: 802-884 100 011 251 - Japan Appeal

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