Ship-Breaking Workers in Pakistan Ask for Solidarity

Ship-breaking workers in the Gadani ship-breaking yard are demanding better working conditions, health and safety standards, proper equipment and better wages.

In June 2010, approximately 15,000 ship-breakers went on strike in the town of Gadani, Balochistan province, and since then have taken various forms of industrial action.  Gadani ship-breakers work for twelve to fourteen hours a day, receiving between 200 and 300 rupees, and remain unregistered in any government social security institution through which they could access medical facilities. Despite having worked for ten to fifteen years, they don’t have formal confirmation of their employment status. Even though the conditions of work are arduous, there are next to no workplace safety guidelines - they are not provided safety shoes, gloves, goggles, helmets, belts, or other necessary safety items. As a result of this neglect, in the last year approximately 20 workers have died on the job. There is no clean water to drink, nor any decent food provided. The workers are also not provided with proper accommodation, and the nearest hospital is in Karachi, which is about 50km away, that could guarantee emergency treatment in the event of an accident.

To read the Ship-Breaking Democratic Workers' Union's statement about this struggle, written during the June 2010 strike, click here.

The struggle for union recognition, as well as better wages and conditions continues.

Send your letters of condemnation to the Balochistan Government by clicking here.

Send your letters of solidarity to the Pakistan Labour Federation by clicking here.