Alang ship-breaking yard feels heat of slowdownMarch 26th, 2009 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS
Alang (Gujarat), March 26 (IANS) The Alang ship-breaking facility in Gujarat, one of the largest ship recycling yards in the world, has seen a significant fall in business in recent months due to the global economic slowdown.
“The global recession has compelled the ship breakers to receive on an average just 25 large and small ships per month nowadays, compared to nearly 50 ships seven months back,” Vishnu Gupta, president of the Ship Recycling Association at Alang, told IANS.
He added that the yard was forced to reduce the number of ships as the demand for steel scrap in the domestic market fell sharply and labour problems rose.
The facility, located 50 km from Bhavnagar, employs nearly 20,000 people in more than 163 ship-breaking plots.
The workers are now demanding higher wages to break large oil tankers, passenger liners and general cargo ships.
The workers went on a three-hour strike Tuesday demanding the management raise the labour charges to Rs.300 per day from the current Rs.240.
Gupta, however, said the labour unrest was amically settled through talks between the labourers and the management.
“The problem of labour unrest at the yard has been amicably settled by the ship-breakers by holding mutual discussions with the workers,” he said.
Gupta added that the ship-breaking industry across the world was feeling the heat of the global economic slowdown.
“Let me tell you there is no manpower shortage at the Alang yard. The only issue being confronted right now is the global recession which has affected us adversely,” he said.
According to official statistics, the Alang facility has generated 31.95 million tonnes of steel scrap till April 2008.
Tags: 163, bhavnagar, cargo ships, general cargo, global economic slowdown, global recession, gujarat, gupta, labour charges, labour problems, labour unrest, labourers, largest ship, manpower shortage, official statistics, oil tankers, recycling association, seven months, ship breakers, steel scrap