Karachi Ship Yard. Oct 25th 2010 Monday at 10am: There was big cry from
the workers as their young colleagues Mohammed Sadique (22 years old)
a Gas Cutting operator and Nabiel Ahmed (20 years) an Fabricator,
working on under construction War Ship frigate F22P was overrun by the
Navy Commando vehicle moving with reckless speed of 100km/h in Ship
Building Shop near the end point of the Open Crane area. The speed
limit inyard is restricted 15 to 20km/h.
These workers were on their way to bring cup of tea from the canteen,
having home made breads in their hands when the Commando vehicle hit
Both the young victims in their 20s were rushed to the hospital by
workers themselves after the agitation of the workers. They were put
on ventilator but the injuries were so serious that one worker
Mohammad Sadique pronounced dead by the doctors at 7.30 pm in the
evening and other one had been still on bed #5018 in the Surgical Ward
in Laiquat Memorial Hospital in Karachi with severely broken feet,
miserably smashed ribs and damaged genital organ, his kidney is
ruptured and two operation have been conducted for the recovery.
The both were the contact workers having not covered under any Social
Security Nets along with other 1200 contact workers working in same
harsh conditions under the terror of 200 Navy commandos deputed to
hamper the trade union activities .
There have been many other accidents at work site but the vehicle
hitting accidents are the usual seen in the yard because of some
officials of the Navy running the some kind of car driving training
sessions with in the yard illegally and drive the vehicles with high
speed to terrorize the workers.
On the fateful day a Navy vehicle carrying two Marine Security
Commandos having number plate GA 4927 brutally hit the workers causing
the death of one worker and the other one is in critical state. Soon
after the accident the yard workers of contract and permanent nature
stop the work in the yard and rigorously protested against the
accident, unsafe working condition and anti worker behavior of the
Navy led management. Karachi Ship Yard is a public limited company and
in listed at Stock Exchange but in clearly violation of country law
taken over by the Ministry of Defense Production to end the union
which was the main hurdle for the managemental anti workers actions.
The Yard workers are being terrorized by the Navy Commandos since the
ban on Union in August 2006 and putting the KS&EW under Ministry of
Defense Production in military regime of General Musharf but soon
after the installation of civilian government when in many
organizations unions were restored except in Karachi ship yard.
Militant and left oriented tradition of trade unionism in the only
ship building yard of Pakistan is the only fault that’s why workers
here are not qualified to take part in union activities. The union had
also approached internationally with ILO on the gross violation of
labour laws but no concrete action still materialize.
On local front there are more than three dozen case have been pending
in different court including in Sindh High Court since 2006 but court
are in no mood to give the verdict on workers issues.
At one time there were 7000 workers employed but military government
forced the workers to take Golden Hand Shake Scheme (GHSS) which
reduce the number of workers only at 1500.However the management has
recruited 1500 as contract workers though their cronies in the grab of
contractors. There was not a single contract worker when the union was
allowed to work legally.
It is interesting to note that the banned union has still strong roots
in the workers and it was the union and its leaders who led the
protest against the killing and injuring of the workers and forced the
management from Navy to accept the demands of the workers to pay for
the funeral, give compensation to hire of the deceased and injured
worker respectively and give free proper medical treatment to the
worker in ICU.
The workers of the yard demand to have their right to form union and
permanent nature of employment for permanent jobs. and also demand
from the courts especially the sindh court to hear their case which is
court since long (justice delayed justice deny ). Shipyard workers
have been with out union since 2006.
Ghani Zaman Awan General Secretary of NTUF who is also General
Secretary defunct Ship Yard Labour Union (CBA) demanded to arrest the
Navy Commandos responsible for the accident.
Demand to restore the union and end the contact system.