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KARACHI: The workers of Gadani ship breaking industry have been facing immense problems for long and they should be given their due rights, said speakers at a press conference here at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Monday.

They said thousands of workers of Gadani ship breaking industry since long have been demanding from the federal and provincial governments, owners of ship breaking yards and related departments to give them their due rights as per labour laws but sadly their voice is not being heard.

Speaking at the press conference Bashir Mahmoodani, President Ship Breaking Workers Union Gadani (SBWU), Nasir Mansoor, General Secretary National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Saleem Baloch, Information Secretary SBWU, Zehra Khan, General Secretary Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), Sammad Member Managing Committee, Jamal and Naseeb Gul, members of Ship breaking Union Gadani said that Gadani is the third largest ship breaking center of the world, but it depicts the picture of a forced labour camp, where ship owners and their supervisors called Jammadars don’t recognize any law or constitution.

The main issue of the workers of ship breaking is poor health and safety arrangements at workplace due to which deadly incidents there are common; however, the law enforcement agencies have become a tool in the hands of ship breaking mafia.

Due to these poor and anti-human work conditions, in November 2016 a fire broke in a ship, killing 29 workers, but no action was taken against the owners and Jammadars of that ship or negligent officials of the related departments. This is why the lives of workers in this ship breaking area are still on the stake.

Ship breaking industry caters the local needs of iron and saves precious foreign exchange for the country. After the closure of Pakistan Steel Mills it provides iron to re-rolling mills at cheaper rates. As per an estimate Gadani ship breaking industry provides one million tons of iron and other metals every year.

The speakers through this press conference demanded to approve the charter of demands presented by the labour union. If the charter of demands is not approved the workers would observe a complete strike on Friday, (July 01, 2022) at all ship breaking yards.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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