SEAFARING unions are mourning the loss of a well-respected figure after the sudden death of Hanafi Rustandi, ITF Asia-Pacific chair and president of the Indonesian seafarers’ union, the KPI (Kesatuan Pelaut Indonesia).
Mr Hanafi, 72 years old, died in Tokyo where he was part of the ITF delegation representing the world’s seafarers and dockers at a meeting of the International Bargaining Forum.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said, “Farewell brother Hanafi, small in stature and giant at heart. Seafarer, trade unionist, labour leader and internationalist. Much loved. Man of humour, deep faith and family. Now at rest after fighting from the front to his last”.
ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said it felt unbelievable such a vibrant and ever-fighting personality was no longer with us.
“We grieve for him, and for his family, friends and union members,” he said.
“Hanafi was a battler for what he believed in. Right to the end he never deviated from that path.”
A joint statement from Mr Crumlin and MUNZ general secretary Joe Fleetwood said Mr Rustandi was a “fierce” supporter of Australian and New Zealand seafarers’ right to work and intervened on several occasions to ensure offshore vessels working out of Indonesia in Australian waters were manned by Australian crews.