EPMU national secretary Andrew Little joined members of the Greymouth community and other unions on International Workers' Memorial Day (28 April) in Blackball to unveil a memorial to the men that died in the Pike River mine disaster.
The inscription on the memorial commemorates not only the men who died in the Pike River mine, but also ‘all those who went to work and never came home.'
Little says that there is room for improvement in workplace safety in the mining sector and other hazardous industries.
‘We owe it to the 29 men who died in the Pike River mine and the rest of the 7270 people who work in the mining sector to improve safety,' says Little. ‘We know enough about the Pike River disaster to know that health and safety regulation and oversight by the authorities is a real issue that the Royal Commission will have to explore in detail.'
A substantial number of EPMU members are employed in forestry, manufacturing and energy and mining - industries with consistently high levels of workplace deaths and injuries. Last year 77 people died at work in New Zealand.