NGO withdraws from industry conference after threats from shipbreaking industry

NGO Shipbreaking Platform, an international coalition of labor, human rights and environmental organizations, withdrew their participation from the TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum that starts today in Hamburg. This is in response to a letter from cash buyer GMS threatening to sue unless the Platform removes all mention of GMS from their website. The Platform has frequently exposed the cash buyer for enabling the dirtiest and most underhanded practices in the shipbreaking industry. Tradewinds refused to replace GMS company staff as chair in the sessions in which the Platform was to…

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Dutch prosecutors press criminal charges against Seatrade

For the first time in Europe, Public Prosecutors are bringing criminal charges against a ship owner – Seatrade – for having sold vessels to scrap yards in countries “where current ship dismantling methods endangers the lives and health of workers and pollutes the environment”. The case is being heard in a Rotterdam Court this week, and the Dutch Public Prosecutor calls for a hefty fine (2.35 mill EUR) and confiscation of the profits Seatrade made on the illegal sale of four ships, as well as a six month prison sentence…

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NGOs and trade unions denounce certification issued to PHP yard by classifiction society RINA

In October, the PHP Family (Peace Happiness and Prosperity) shipbreaking yard received a Statement of Compliance with the Hong Kong Convention by the Italian classification society RINA. Trade unions in Bangladesh, as well as the Platform’s member Bangladesh Institute for Labour Studies (BILS), are concerned that such a labelling sets a dangerous precedent for the further green-washing of the Chittagong beaching yards. Workers and the environment are not protected as long as ships are broken on the beach, and as long as fundamental labour rights and proper infrastructure are not…

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