KARACHI - Highlighting the tragic incident of the oil tanker blast in Gadani, the labour leaders said that at least 28 people were killed, around 60 were injured in the incident while 20 families so far approached NTUF in search of their missing ones.
Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) yesterday, they said it was unfortunate that government remained tight lipped during the overall scene. They also criticised the government decision of closuring work at the shipbreaking yard.
“This decision is tantamount to the economical murder of the 12,000 workers directly associated with the industry. These workers earned wages daily and in this scenario they and their families have been forced to sleep with an empty stomach. Those more than two million people indirectly related to the industry have also been badly affected,” they held.
The labourers pointed out that embargo on dismantling a decommissioned ship is an attack on the industries in Pakistan, especially in Baluchistan, as more than 100 re-rolling mills in Karachi and Hub were dependent on the iron scrap from Gadani. The shipbreaking yard caters 30percent of country’s iron and steel needs. The closure of this resource will only benefit the steel importers and it will force negative impacts on the economy, they added.
Labour leaders further said some forces were trying to present the oil tanker blast incident as a terror activity to shift the world’s eye away from lack of, or zero, health and safety facilities to labourers and violation of country’s and international labour laws and conventions.
“It is regrettable that about one week has passed and no compensation has been announced for the victim families while the injured were also not provided any aid that has resulted into more casualties,” they further claimed.
On this occasion, they demanded the federal and Balochistan governments to take back decision of closing the work at shipbreaking yard and announce compensation amount for the families of deceased and injured.
“If our demands were not meet the labour organisations would stage protest on November 14 at the main RCD highway going towards Quetta,” they warned.
Source: the nation. 10 November 2016