PAKINSTAN | The Ship Breaking Democratic Workers Union, Gaddani, and the National Trades Union Federation (NTUF) held a protest demonstration on Sunday outside the Karachi Press Club against an accident at the shipbreaking yard No 86 on July 30. Six workers were severely burnt in the incident, of whom two passed away on Saturday night.
The demonstration was attended by a large number of workers from different yards of Gaddani, all of whom were carrying red flags, banners, and placards with slogans inscribed in support of their demands.
The fire erupted when workers were cutting the pipeline linking the engine of the ship with its fuel tank. The workers raised slogans against the contractors, owners and district administration, and demanded the registration of FIR against the plot owner and contractor concerned.
Workers’ leaders said since the start of 2010, it was twentieth death at the ship breaking workplace and 300 had been badly wounded at different ships, but not a single case had been registered with police because of close connection of police high-ups with ship owners.
In the recent accident there was no ambulance available to rush the victims to a hospital. There is no first aid medical facility for 15,000 ship breaking workers of 40 ship breaking yards, the workers said.
The union leaders demanded ambulance service for each yard, safety measures at ship breaking work place, safe drinking water, canteens and right to form union, they also appealed to the Chief Justice to take legal action against lawlessness at the Gaddani ship-breaking industry.