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Bangladesh shipbreakers protest new toxic decree

Dhaka: Bangladesh's shipbreaking yards are at a crossroads, with workers up in arms at moves to make the yards operate in a more environmentally friendly manner.  Shipbreaking ground to a halt Monday as some 30,000 workers protested a government decree issued in late January, which demands that ships heading for breaking yards must now be certified as toxic chemical-free before they are imported and scrapped.?
"Ship breakers are demanding the order be reversed and 30,000 ship breaking workers are protesting with a massive rally in the centre of Chittagong," local police chief Monirul Islam told AFP, referring to Bangladesh's second-largest city.?
"The government order is tantamount to a death sentence for the industry," said Jafar Alam, head of the Bangladeshi shipbreakers association.?"Tens of thousands of workers will lose their jobs because of the order," he said.?The industry employs an estimated 40,000 people.  [23/02/10]?

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