International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) members at Port Newark and throughout the Port of New York and New Jersey are coming to grips today with the devastating news of the accidental death of ILA Local 1233 member Uriel Matamoro, 59, of Elizabeth.
Officials said Matamoros died in the early hours of Wednesday morning, July 13, working at PNCT, Berth 51, Port Newark.
Local 1233 said that Matamoros perished when a Noell Straddle Carrier he was operating toppled over in a horrific accident.
"The ILA collectively weeps today as we mourn the passing of our Brother Uriel Matamoros," International Longshoremen's Association President Harold J. Daggett said.
"We offer our full care, our condolences, and our prayers to his wife and two teenage children."
ILA President Daggett directed his International Safety Director, Robert Fiore, to conduct a full investigation into the accident.
"Once again, we were faced with the terrible responsibility to tell an ILA family that their husband and father is not returning home from work," President Daggett said.
"Our industry is a dangerous profession which is why we fight hard in negotiations for top-level training programs. Our industry partners and the ILA must redouble our efforts to make certain we prevent accidents like the one that took the life of Brother Matamoros."
An eight-year veteran of the ILA, Matamoros, 59, was remembered by ILA Local 1233 President Buddy Smith and many of his co-workers and employers as one of the hardest working longshoreman around.
His family and friends affectionately attached the nickname "Popeye" to him.
Messages of condolences have poured into the ILA from Dockworkers from around the country and world.
The International Dockworkers' Council earlier today sent a message of condolence to ILA President Daggett and Executive Vice President Dennis Daggett.
"It is at this difficult time that we realize the dangers involved in our esteemed profession and the value of the need to raise the standards of health and safety," Jordi Aragunde, IDC International Labor Coordinator, said.
"We must pull ourselves together and continue to fight to ensure that no worker loses his or her life on the job."