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Forestry families bringing their message to Parliament

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 pm, February 19th, 2014 - 6 comments
Categories: employment, health and safety, uncategorized, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

Readers of The Standard have read and engaged on the campaign for forestry safety. There is now a Review underway and we need to maintain the organising momentum to ensure change is made. On 28 April is International Workers Memorial Day and we have invited the families of all workers killed since 2008 (that we have been able to get contact details for), to come to Wellington for a series of events. Many of them want to march on Parliament – we will do that. They want to meet – we will have a memorial service where they can hear each other’s stories and meet. They want to support other families of workers killed at work to access legal advice during the process of investigation – we are having a street collection to set up a fund for that. They want to meet the Review panel – we are hoping this can happen then. Getting everyone to town is a challenge but we hope, with the amazing support we have had from all parts of the community for this campaign, that we can get the funds together. We have set up this site on Give a Little

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6 comments on “Forestry families bringing their message to Parliament”

  1. karol 1

    Good cause. Excellent campaign. 11 forestry workers in the last year is staggering and beyond unacceptable.

    When you say all workers killed since 2008, is that all forestry workers killed since then? Or all workers generally?

  2. Helen Kelly 2

    Thanks Karol Forestry workers.

    • karol 2.1

      Thanks for the clarification, Helen.

      It seems to me the way you have consistently highlighted the dreadful realities of forestry work has resulted in the MSM now reporting it a fair bit.

      But the deaths keep happening and taking their toll on family, friends and colleagues.

  3. Adele 3

    Tēnā koe, e Helen

    Forestry companies are still practicing unsafely driven largely by maximising profit through break-neck productivity – before the rules change. They even have the audacity to use health and safety as an excuse to sack slow workers on the felling crews.

    Most, if not all, deaths that occur in forests are from the felling or falling of logs. I am fairly sure health and safety says in the circumstances – slow is good.

    It also needs to said that sacked workers and others working in the bush would be reluctant to speak out or pursue a personal grievance over unjustifiable dismissal or discrimination as the employer is usually a significant player in the forestry industry and also a significant employer of contract labour.

    • helen kelly 3.1

      You are right Adele, productivity pressures are still driving unrealistic and dangerous hours and speed pressures on these sites. This is an issue workers need to raise in the Forestry Review process and one constantly raised by us. Time needs to be taken for rest breaks, hours need to be shorter (but pay higher) and workers need to work at a pace that ensures they know where each other is, they scope discuss and plan for cutting dangerous trees and they take time to train those that need it. In regards your last point – workers need a union and we are offering them on at First Forestry Together. They have a common interest in making this industry a good one to work in and collectively – they would be in a very good position to do that. Thanks for your comments – please share the link in the blog.

      regards
      Helen

  4. lez Howard 4

    This is a shocking toll.Gross incompetance by management Worse than a war zone Tree fellers you need to unite and defete these Greedy employers

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