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British government supports shipbreaking convention

20 January, 2016The British government has expressed its intention to ratify the Hong Kong Convention for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships.

In a letter to IndustriALL Global Union’s UK affiliate Unite, the British Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, said:

“Once the provisions of the EU Regulation have been fully implemented, our focus will shift to ratification of the Hong Kong International Convention as we will then have all the necessary domestic legislation in place.”

The response comes after Unite’s national officer for shipbuilding, Ian Waddell, wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron requesting that the UK Government urgently ratifies the Convention.

Kan Matsuzaki, director of shipbuilding and shipbreaking at IndustriALL, said:

“We welcome the British Government’s willingness to support the Hong Kong Convention and we expect the Government to accelerate its ratification process. The Convention cannot come into force until it has been ratified by at least 15 countries representing 40 per cent of gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping. The UK could play important role in the process as one of the major ship-owner states in the world.”

IndustriALL is leading a campaign to clean up shipbreaking, regarded as one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

Read the British Government’s response here.