Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pakistan’s ship-breakers strike

A courageous group of highly exploited workers in Pakistan’s ship-breaking yards have defied state repression to fight for their rights, reports Adaner Usmani.

Socialist Worker, July 6, 2010

A shipbreaker at the shore in Gadani (Michael Foley)

A shipbreaker at the shore in Gadani (Michael Foley)

TODAY, AS the Pakistani government hurtles itself along the path of IMF-mandated austerity, working people around the country find themselves bearing the ever-steeper costs of a capitalist crisis not of their own making. The ordered withdrawal of government subsidies of basic staples–as well as the effects of global and local slowdown–have meant an environment of sharp cuts to real wages and rapidly heightening job insecurity.

Yet even while the Pakistani left lacks the infrastructure to combat this onslaught head-on, in the most underdeveloped and oppressed province of the country, several thousands of workers have taken dramatic action to this end.

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