Many workers killed at shipbreaking yards

In the terrible inferno that followed the explosion inside a beached oil tanker, at least 21 workers at the Gadani, Pakistan shipbreaking yards were killed (see video). Another 60 were injured, some with extensive burns, while up to another 50 workers are unaccounted for. The shipbreaking yards of South Asia have become a graveyard for workers. In these workplaces, employers and governments enforce brutal anti-union policies, wages are barely above starvation levels, with abysmal health and safety conditions. Nevertheless, workers continue to fight (see here and here). The shipbreaking industry is a perfect example of a global industry engaging in a vicious Race to the Bottom where costs are cut to the bone, profits are maximised and workers’ lives deemed expendable.