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Expanded training centre opens for shipbreaking workers in India

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25 March, 2019IndustriALL affiliate, the Alang Sosiya Ship Recycling General Workers’ Union (ASSRGWA) opened the second phase of its training centre and organized a training of trainers programme from 13 – 16 March 2019 with the support of IndustriALL and Dutch union, FNV.

One of its kind in the South Asia region, the training centre, which educates and train shipbreaking workers on safe and sustainable recycling of ships, has been expanded with added facilities and was inaugurated on 13 March 2019.

Speaking at the launch, Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, general secretary of trade union centre, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, said:

“ASSRGWA made a significant contribution and worked to improve the lives of shipbreaking workers, who are almost exclusively migrant and precarious workers and some of the most vulnerable workers in the world.”

Kan Matsuzaki, IndustriALL director for the shipbuilding and shipbreaking sector, commented:

“The training centre is a significant achievement of union solidarity in the shipbuilding, seafaring and shipbreaking sectors, to support a better environment for shipbreaking workers in the South Asia region. ASSRGWA’s efforts will inspire unions across the region to emulate establishing similar infrastructure and promote workers’ rights in their own countries.”

V. V. Rane, ASSRGWA’s general secretary, said,

“We thank all the stakeholders, including ship recycling employers, government representatives and the Gujarat Maritime Board for extending much needed cooperation. More importantly, consistent solidarity support from IndustriALL and FNV played a crucial role in strengthening ASSRGWA’s initiatives.”

Over 350 shipbreaking workers participated and the launch event, which was presided over by S. K. Shetye, president of ASSRGWA and witnessed participation from Apoorva Kaiwar IndustriALL South Asia regional secretary and representatives from employers and government officials.

Subsequently, Joop van Oord and Martjin van de Beurcht of FNV led the training of trainers programme in which 24 participants nominated by various ship recycling companies took part. The programme for safe and sustainable recycling of ships covered various aspects including communication, observation, colour code, safe handling of asbestos, appropriate use of personal protective equipment, safety from noise pollution, understanding and preventing causes and consequences of accidents, and safe use of wire rope, tools and shackles.