Shipbreakers Face Death for 36 Cents an Hour

September, 21 2009 Share

Interview with a Lucky worker on board a tanker ship
August 2009

Interviewer:    How long have you been working in this yard?

Worker:          Twelve years.

Interviewer:    What is the name of this yard?

Worker:          Lucky yard

Interviewer:    It looks like you are doing a risky job"do you enjoy working here?

Worker:          How could I enjoy it?  I work here just to survive.

Interviewer:    How much do you get paid?

Worker:          200 taka [$2.91]

Interviewer:    200 taka in eight hours?

Worker:           Yes.  200 taka in eight hours [=25 taka, or 36 cents, per hour]

Interviewer:    On average, how much do you make each month?

Worker:           On average, 7,000 to 7,500 taka [$101.74 - $109.01] a month and on average, $24.32 a week.

Interviewer:    The way you are working a risky job, do you experience any dangerous situations?

Worker:          Yes, there are many frightening situations.  We witness workers dying while working here.  Many workers died.

Interviewer:    Can you give an example?  Why do workers die here?

Worker:           I will give an example.  Sometimes the gas tanks catch on fire, burst and explode.  As a result, workers get burned and die.

Note:              This experienced senior worker is paid the highest wage of 36 cents an hour and $24.32 a week for toiling at least 70 hours a week.