The ship-breaking industry at Sitakundo started its operation in 1960. Due to lower labor costs and less stringent environmental regulations Chittagong ship breaking yard booms in a very short period of time. Destroying thousands of trees in coastal areas, constant harmful oily substance from ships, Dangerous vapors and fumes from burning materials make this coastal belt a highly polluted area. In the yard worker’s wages depend on the number of hours’ works and skill level. They have no entitlement to overtime, sick or annual leave. A laborer usually works for 12-14 hours a day and their wages range from 100-250 taka (1.5 to 3.5 dollars). The working conditions are very dangerous. Health and safety regulations for the workers are very poor. Protective equipment is most times absent or inadequate. Huge casualties occurs causing loss of lives every year. Over the last twenty years, more than 500 workers have been killed and 600 seriously injured according to local news media.
Bangladesh | 2011