IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers in 140 countries, calls upon governments to finally make the shipbreaking industry safer for workers. The trade unions stress the precarious working conditions for shipbreaking workers in South Asia, usually migrant workers hired by sub-contractors, as well as the exposure to various health threats including toxic substances and industrial accidents. The global union launched a dedicated website featuring campaign materials, related documents and videos, as well as a model letter to governments.
In November 2014, the IndustriALL Global Union World Conference on Shipbuilding-Shipbreaking, which Platform founder and policy advisor Ingvild Jenssen attended in Nagasaki, Japan, unanimously approved a resolution demanding that shipbuilding, shipbreaking and shipping states expedite ratification of the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. Moreover, the resolution calls upon countries to apply the EU Ship Recycling Regulation as well as requirements under the Basel Convention and the ILO Guidelines to make the industry safer for workers.
“A strong and international trade union movement is absolutely necessary for the shipbreaking industry”, says Patrizia Heidegger, Executive Director of the Platform. “We are happy that trade unions around the world join forces and address the shipbreaking crisis as a global issue in order to make the voices of workers from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan heard. We regret that trade unions active in the shipbreaking sector in South Asia often do not fully enjoy the freedom of assembly and the right to collective bargaining, and we call upon governments to make sure that workers can freely enjoy their rights.”