The Pakistan Ship Breakers Association (PSBA) has appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to allow shipbreaking activities in Gadani to resume after a fire left at least 26 workers dead and many more injured.
Mohammad Akhlaq Memon of the PBSA called on the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) to reopen the shipyard despite the explosion that took place onboard a tanker on November 1.
Memon cited that the Gadani shipbreaking industry played an important role in the country’s economy and urged the government to reopen the Gadani shipbreaking yard as Section 144 [of the Criminal Procedure Code] was affecting the livelihood of workers.
He said: “It is the third biggest ship-breaking industry in the world and besides earning so much revenue for the country, it provides jobs to a large number of locals as well as people from other provinces.”
Shipyards in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan have poor working conditions, with workers dismantling ships using little to no safety equipment or ventilation, causing diseases and illness from exposure to harmful substances and also high numbers of accidents and burns.
Around 100 people were working on dismantling the vessel in Gadani at the time of the fire which was extinguished after four days.
The PBSA claims that the Gadani ship-breaking industry provides larger salaries to workers than Dubai. Despite the long list of safety concerns and environmentally damaging operations, ship owners use Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani shipbreaking yards because of cheap labour and the high price for steel.
#Fire #Gadani #Shipbreaking yard…… pic.twitter.com/PeDgzKmbfM
— Syed Taha Fareed (@SyedTahaFareed1) 1 November 2016