Another Shipbreaker Killed in Bangladesh

May, 04 2012 Share

On Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 32-year-old Mr. Mansur Ali was crushed to death at 10:30 a.m. at the Sima shipyard, while dismantling a huge hydraulic door in a ship's engine room. While he was unbolting the door, it fell, crushing and killing him.  The name of the ship is the Tinos, and its IMO number is 8705759.  Another worker, Mr. Faird, was also injured and is now hospitalized.

To avoid any responsibility for their workers, management refuses to provide work contracts or even to issue worker ID cards.  All workers are held as "day laborers," with no legal rights.  Mr. Shafi, owner of the Sima shipyard, has subcontracted the cutting and dismantling of ships to a firm called Rupali Cutting.

Cutters earn 40 to 49 cents an hour, while helpers earn 23 to 24 cents.

At the entrance gate of the Sima yard, management has posted a sign that says "Safety First."  But Sima workers are denied safety gear:  no boots, no helmets, no welders vests, no health and safety training.  The toilets are filthy.

Another sign is posted at the main entrance gate, which claims there is a "Doctor's Office inside the Yard," which is a lie.  Security guards use the room to sleep in.

Workers will continue to suffer needless injuries and deaths as long as the shipbreakers do not have the right to legal employment contracts, safety equipment and training-and as long as they lack the right to organize.

We are asking for help to track down who made the ship, the Tinos, (IMO 8705759), which shipping line purchased the Tinos and what were its ports of call.  The ship owners must be held accountable to assure that their ships are dismantled in a safe and legal manner, including with regard to fundamental worker and union rights.

See attached memo from the Institute's staff in Chittagong, Bangladesh.



Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2012 3:09 PM
Subject: Tragic Accident at Sima-one worker killed.


Tragic Accident at Sima Ship-breaking Yard

A worker named Mr. Mansur Ali (32) died after being crushed by a ship's hydraulic door at S Trading Corporation, a group member of Sima ship-breaking yard at Sitakundu sub-district of Chittagong.  The name of the yard owner is Mr. Shafi. This yard is supervised by a contractor named Mr. Jamir under his contracting farm named Rupali Cutting. That means the owner gave a sub-contract to Rupali Cutting for dismantling the ship. The name of the ship is Tinos and the IMO number is 8705759.

Workers said that the Mansur, a fitter man, was working inside the ship with two other workers in the engine room of the ship named Tinos at around 10.30 am on May 2, 2012. While Mansur was unscrewing the nuts and bolts of hydraulic door in the engine room of the ship, it fell on him crushing him to death instantly on the spot.

One of co-workers of Mansur started screaming when he was crushed. Then the other fitter men found him badly crushed.  One Mr. Faird also was injured. He is getting medical treatment in the local hospital.

The deceased worker hailed from Naogaon District, one of the north Bengal Districts. He was married. His father's name is Late Mr. Aber Ali, mother name is Ms. Alesa Begum. His village address is: Village: Sheata, Post Office: Chakuli, PS: Mundha, District: Naogaon. He was the only income earner of his family. The company did not pay any death compensation to the bereft family members but assured that they would do something later.

Yesterday Mansur was asking his foreman to supply boots but he did not make it available. This was the last word with Mansur's supervisor.

Mansur was a devoted worker. He had love for his colleagues and co-workers. Most of the time he was found working eagerly and sincerely. Even in the midst of his minor sickness he never refused to work.      

On May 02, 70 workers were working scattered throughout the ship. There were 9 cutter men, 27 helpers, and 34 fitter men. 


Working Conditions at the S Trading Corporation:   

Inside the ship, working hours are from 7.00pm to 5.00pm, 10 hours daily. In the yard the working hours are from 8.00am to 8.00pm, 11 hours daily with one hour for lunch time.  They get a 20 minute tea break at 10.00am and at 5.00pm. In the day shift there are 270 workers at the yard. The cutter men who work inside the ship get Tk.280-Tk.320 daily [$3.41-$3.90] for working 8 hours.

The cutter men in the yard make Tk.260-Tk.280 per day [$3.17-$3.41] for 8 hours work.  Helpers earn Tk.150-Tk160 [$1.83-$1.95] daily for regular wages. Workers get paid twice a month, on 5th and on 20th of the following month. There is no medical doctor at the yard. On the main gate of the yard it is written that there is a doctor's room inside the yard but in fact a night security guard sleeps in the room. There is no ambulance or canteen/dining area at the yard. The company does not provide any attendance card to the workers. When workers go to work the contractor writes their names on a piece of paper.

Workers do not have any ID card with them as the management does not provide it to the workers. On entrance gate is written "Safety First" but management has very little safety concern as they do not provide safety gear except some hand gloves, which are inadequate in numbers. Workers are given a pair of hand gloves after 21 days, every three weeks, but workers need a pair of gloves every week. Workers have to buy boots, outer coarse shirts and helmets on their own. The toilets are filthy. The foreman and the In-charge mistreat workers, call names.  The deceased workers of north Bengal usually never get death compensation but workers of Chittagong get some lump-some amount for death compensation.     


More background on shipbreaking