One worker lost his life in an incident at a shipbreaking yard in Chittagong, Bangladesh, while scrapping a vessel owned by Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Marine, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform said. Local reports say that the man was cutting the containership Ever Union at Kabir Steel’s Khawja yard when he fell from a great height. Unfortunately, he died on the spot.Kabir Steel’s shipbreaking yards are part of the large industrial conglomerate of Kabir Group of Industries. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform said it has documented several severe accidents at the company’s yards over the last years.In 2017 and 2018 alone, at least four workers were killed. In 2016, Kabir Steel’s private security personnel fired shots and injured seven people who were protesting following the death of a shipbreaking worker.The Post-Panamax boxship Ever Union was beached in Bangladesh in April this year. As informed by the NGO Shipbreaking platform, the Taiwanese owner of the vessel has been under the spotlight for its “irresponsible shipbreaking practices”. In January 2018, the Norwegian Central Bank announced its decision to exclude Evergreen from the Government Pension Fund Global, due to the shipowner’s poor management of its end-of-life ships and their sale for dangerous breaking on the infamous beach of Chattogram.The NGO coalition added that since 2018 the company has not changed its policy. Five Evergreen vessels, including two Post-Panamaxes and three Handy containers, ended up in Bangladesh this year, data provided by VesselsValue’s shows. Three of them were allegedly sold to shipbreaking yards owned by Kabir Steel.The Ever Union was sold for demolition for more than USD 10 million. Before reaching the shore, the ship was renamed Vera and changed registry to the Paris MoU black-listed flag of Palau, the NGO said.Despite activities being slow due to the monsoon rains, incidents keep occurring. According to the platform’s member organization Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), another worker lost his life in Chattogram at the beginning of July.In May this year, three workers died and several others were injured in an explosion at Mahinur Ship Breaking yard, known as Premium Trade Corporation. The incident once again reflected the overall dire working conditions at the Bangladeshi shipbreaking yards.“Twenty workers lost their lives in 2018. The number of deaths was the highest in last eight years. These two recent accidents bring the total death-toll of the shipbreaking industry this year to at least ten workers,” Muhammed Ali Shahin, Project Coordinator at YPSA, commented.“Clearly, no lesson has been learned. Accidents keep happening, indicating a complete lack of intention from yard owners to ensure workers’ safety,” he further said.A total of 193 ships were broken in the second quarter of 2019. Of these, 146 vessels were sold to scrapping yards in South Asia, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s report shows.More than half of the ships sold to South Asia in the second quarter changed their flag to the registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach.
Pope Francis spoke out against “only looking to make a profit”Pope Francis has denounced as “slave labour” the conditions of workers caught in a deadly building collapse in Bangladesh last week.More than 400 people are confirmed to have died in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building near the capital, Dhaka.It housed several clothing factories, some supplying Western retailers.At May Day parades in Dhaka, marchers demanded the death penalty for the building’s owner and better conditions for workers.The Pope said he had been shocked by reports that some of the labourers had been paid just 38 euros ($50) a month.“Today in the world this slavery is being committed against something beautiful that God has given us – the capacity to create, to work, to have dignity,” the Pope said at a private Mass. “Not paying a fair wage, not giving a job because you are only looking at balance sheets, only looking to make a profit, that goes against God,” he was quoted as saying by Vatican radio.‘Better safety’At least 410 people are confirmed to have died and more than 140 are missing following the collapse of the eight-storey building a week ago, police and army officials said. Some 2,500 people were injured.It was the country’s worst industrial disaster.More than 30 of those killed, whose bodies have not been identified, were buried in a mass funeral on Wednesday.In Dhaka, an estimated 20,000 people took part in the main May Day march, while separate demonstrations were held in other parts of the capital and elsewhere. “I want the death penalty for the owner of the building,” said one marcher, 18-year-old garment factory worker Mongidul Islam Rana. “We want regular salaries, raises and absolutely we want better safety in our factories.”Others in Dhaka held banners with the words: “Hang the killers, Hang the factory owners.”Speaking at a rally in the industrial township of Narayanganj, the leader of Bangladesh’s main opposition party, Khaleda Zia, alleged that the government was hiding the real casualty figures from the building collapse. She also claimed that if the army had been given control of the rescue operation earlier, more lives could have been saved.The European Union has said it is considering “appropriate action” to encourage improvements in working conditions in Bangladeshi factories.It said its actions might include the use of its trade preference system, which gives Bangladesh duty- and quota-free access to EU markets.Bangladesh’s garment industry makes up almost 80% of the country’s annual exports and provides employment to about four million people.However, it has faced criticism over low pay and limited rights given to workers, and for the often dangerous working conditions in factories.Both Primark, which has a large presence in the UK, and Canadian company Loblaw had clothing made in the Rana Plaza, and have said they will offer aid to victims and their families.Rana Plaza owner Mohammed Sohel Rana, a local leader of the youth wing of the ruling Awami League party, is in police custody.A total of eight people, including factory owners and engineers, have been arrested for alleged negligence.BBC News Tweet Sharing is caring! Share Share FaithInternationalLifestylePrint Pope condemns Dhaka ‘slave labour’ by: – May 1, 2013 Share 68 Views no discussions