19 September 2017

‘Fake unions out to grab land in Gadani shipyard’

Musharraf Humayun, finance secretary of the Ship-breaking Labour Union, Gadani, said on Tuesday theirs was the only labour union of the ship-breaking industry and that all other labour unions were just an attempt to disgrace their union.

Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, he said the Gadani ship-breaking yard was spread over 132 plots along the Mekran coast with 39 companies engaged in the endeavour of ship-breaking.

There was a yard on which a major accident took place on November 1, 2016, and since then there were fake groups who had an eye on this piece of land and masqueraded as leaders of workers, thus misleading the work force, he added.

Humayun alleged that these elements sponsored unauthorised press conferences and claimed to be the flag-bearers of the workers’ rights, which, he said, was utter poppycock.

He claimed that the Ship-breaking labour Union, Gadani, was the sole representative of the ship-breaking workers and the sole CBA, but fake labour unions were misstating the version of the genuine union.

At this juncture, Humayun identified the person who was the focus of his ire, Nasir Mansoor, deputy secretary general of The Federation of Pakistan Trade Unions, and debunking Nasir’s claim that the hospital at the ship-breaking yard had only one ambulance, he said that there were now 22 ambulances.

He said that contrary to Mansoor’s claims, all health and safety provisions were there at the yard. Referring to the tragedy of November 1, 2016, wherein 26 people burned to death and four are still missing, he said that the next-of-kin of the casualties had been given Rs1.1 million each by the ship-breakers’ association and Rs5,00,000 each  from the government-constituted Workers Welfare Fund, with Rs50,000 each for those with minor injuries and Rs100,000 each for those with grievous injuries.

He claimed that there was total adherence to environmental laws at the yard.  Taking his focus away from Mansoor, he called on the government to take care of the problem of the non-arrival of tankers at the ship-breaking yard after the November 1, 2016, tragedy.

The process for the other ships had become so expensive, he said, that very few ships were coming. He called upon the government to tackle these two problems.

Source: the news. 09 August 2017

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