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DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH BORNEO BULLETIN ARCHIVES
|Compiled by Lance Thoo Sin Lin|
Staff stop working overtime over pay row
MIRI (December 7, 1974) – More than 300 Sarawak Shell staff stopped working overtime from this week as part of their effort to get a better pay deal from the management.
And they have also reaffirmed their plan to go on strike from December 26, 1974, unless their demands are met.
The overtime ban is expected to have a serious impact on the company’s operations – workers who operate the refinery power plant and maintain the offshore stations are required to work overtime.
The workers, members of the Sarawak Shell Employees’ Union, are demanding a 25 per cent pay adjustment. The company is prepared to give only 12 per cent.
The union also wants 20 days leave for all oilfield staff, instead of the present 15 days.
The ban on overtime came into force recently after union members held an emergency meeting.
Weedkiller’s deadly record
KUCHING (December 29, 1984) – Weedkiller has claimed 21 lives in Sarawak this year.
That grim statistic follows news that the federal government is resisting pressure to ban one of the deadliest of all – paraquat.
Police in Sarawak say that paraquat, which is widely used in the product Gramoxone, was responsible for an estimated 85 per cent of weedkiller deaths in the state.
Last year, 23 people died of weedkiller poisoning, three accidentally and 20 through suicide.
This year, accidents have accounted for four deaths, while the rest were suicides.
The decision not to ban paraquat, a broad spectrum herbicide, has been taken by the Agriculture Ministry on the recommendation of the Insecticide and Pesticide Board.
In Parliament, Deputy Agriculture Minister, Datuk Dr Goh Cheng Teik, said the poison was very effe-ctive and still needed because it was cheap.
He said the board is looking for an alternative to paraquat and stiffer regulations on the sale and storage of such poisons are being drawn up.
Red foam mystery: Strange substance on KB beach
DECEMBER 15, 1994 – Mysterious reddish brown foam polluting a vast stretch of beach in Kuala Belait has caused concern among residents, while relevant authorities have yet to identify its source.
According to some residents living close to the beach between the Municipal Park and the Sea View Hotel, the strange foam has been noticed for several days now.
The detergent-like substance is carried ashore by the waves, and when it lands on the beach, it turns to reddish brown.
“The entire beach is like a Martian terrain,” said one regular jogger on the beach.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Brunei Shell Petroleum yesterday refuted rumours that its operations could be the source.
BSP’s Environment Adviser, Joppe Cramwinckel told the Bulletin the foamy substance found on the Kuala Belait beach is not from any of their operations.
Cramwinckel who visisted the beach to make an on-the-spot study said the substance could not be hazardous.
He did not however specify what it was, but said that it could be some river sentiments as a result of heavy rain.
He also said some vessels (not BSP’s) may have discharged certain residue at the mouth of the river to cause the phenomenon. – Cedrina Clark
Beach-goers warned of red tide
DECEMBER 27, 2004 – The Department of Environment, Park and Recreation has placed signs at beaches to warn the public not to play and swim at beaches due to the occurrence of red tide in Brunei waters.
However, a survey at Muara beach found several people ignoring the warning by swimming at the beach. The latest update issued by the Department of Fisheries stated that the waters are still affected by red tide and advised the public to abstain from eating fish and shellfish of unknown origin.
The authorities urged the public to report any mass fish mortalities in local waters and beaches to the department. – H Bat
© 2013 Borneo Bulletin Online - The Independent Newspaper in Brunei Darussalam, Sabah and Sarawak