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Gadani Tragedy spurs workers

Gadani Tragedy that took place on 3rd Nov has spurred the workers to stand for their rights and demand for the safe working conditions. The death toll as a result of an explosion in oil tanker at Gadani Ship Breaking yard has risen to 26. The explosion took place while dismantling an oil tanker that had oil six cubic feet of oil present in it.

Labourers from  Gadani, Hub and Karachi’s Baldia Factory, participated in a protest organised by National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) to demand the safe working conditions for labourers and compensation to the families of Gadani Tragedy victims.

Workers marched from Regal Chowk to Karachi Press Club on Sunday afternoon. They urged authorities to devise a code for ship breaking at the site, as there didn’t exist any before this.They also presented the example of India, where, the government had succeeded in controlling such tragedies and ship breaking yards due to setting proper rules and regulations. Nasir Mansoor, the General Secretary of NTUF, also asked to abolish the contract system at the ship breaking yard as it was exploiting the labourers.

President of NTUF, Gul Rehman, who addressed the demonstration in Pushto, as most of the workers were Pathans, told that there was no social security or EOBI (Employees Old Age Benefits Institution) for the 12000 labourers working at ship-breaking yard. He also criticised the Baluchistan government who didn’t take the incident serious as Chief Minister visited the place of the incident after the three days, that too, only for seven minutes.

The protesters also demanded that government should compensate the families of deceased and injured workers by paying them, 3 million Rs, and 500,000 Rs respectively.

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