Mahbubul Haque BhuiyanComilla University teacher Mahbubul Haque Bhuiyan has served a legal notice to the university authorities seeking withdrawal of his “forced leave”.The acting head of the journalism department of the university was given “forced leave” for a month for allegedly taking classes on National Mourning Day on 15 August.The legal notice was sent to the vice-chancellor and the registrar through fax and mail on Sunday, said Mahbubul’s lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua.The university officials were asked to reply in the next 12 hours, he added.The lawyer told Prothom Alo that the university authorities did not serve any show-cause notice prior to forcing him to go on leave.“There is no provision in the university act to send someone on leave in such a fashion,” he added.The lawyer said the university faculty will take legal action if the VC and the register fail to reply in the stipulated time.
Shipbreakers cut up a beached vessel for scrap in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo: The Guardian Mohamed Edris’s life as he knew it in the Bangladeshi ship recycling yards ended at 11.30am on Saturday 11 April 2015. The 38-year-old metal cutter had been working with 100 others on the 19,600-tonne container ship Eurus London at the Ferdous Steel Corporation shipyard in Chittagong when catastrophe struck.His task had been to cut away the huge 40-tonne propeller with a blow torch. Alarm bells rang, he said, when he saw that a large metal platform had been placed below the propeller to stop it falling into the mud on the beach.“I told the supervisor and two others that it was dangerous because it could bounce back when the propeller fell. I told them I could not do it, but they insisted that I did,” he said. He obeyed and nearly died. The propeller broke free, hit the metal plate and sprung back as he predicted. It sliced off his left leg below the knee, blinded him in one eye and nearly broke his back, says The Guardian in an article published on 2 December.The yard paid for his hospital treatment, gave him Tk 125,000 (£1,142) compensation and Tk 460 (£4.32) a week for nine months. Now he, and the seven family members he supported, rely on handouts from friends. But in a legal test case Zodiac Maritime, the London-based shipping company that managed the Eurus London until it was sold for scrap, could be held responsible, the article adds.In a case that could see British, American and European shipowners and managers being made liable for the many deaths and accidents that take place every year in Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani shipbreaking yards, UK law firm Leigh Day is suing Zodiac for negligence on behalf of Edris. It claims that Zodiac, which manages about 150 large ships and is owned by Eyal Ofer, son of the late Israeli shipping magnate Sammy Ofer, should have known how dangerous the Chittagong breaking yards were when the vessel was sold for scrap to GMS, a US-based “cash buyer” or middle man.“Zodiac knew, or ought to have known, that there was a foreseeable risk of physical harm to workers when they allowed their vessel to be sold to a Chittagong yard through a cash buyer,” says Martyn Day, a director of Leigh Day.New legal action is needed, say environmentalists and unions, because of the steady number of deaths and injuries to workers. On one level, shipbreaking is one of the world’s “greenest” industries, with every nut, bolt and sheet of metal on a ship being recycled. It also employs hundreds of thousands of people in some of the world’s poorest countries. But, say critics, owners knowingly cause suffering to workers by sending their ships to be recycled on Asian beaches. British-based companies have sent 28 ships to be beached in the past two years, including six to Chittagong. Two vessels waiting to be dismantled in that yard last week were managed by Zodiac.“Shipowners shield themselves from responsibility through the use of cash buyers. These scrap dealers sell off the ships for the highest price offered,” says Ingvild Jenssen, director of Shipbreaking Platform, a Brussels-based coalition of environmental, human rights and labour groups. “All ships that end up on the beaches of Bangladesh, Pakistan or India pass through cash buyers, and all sales to cash buyers are clearly scrap deals where the higher price paid indicates that the vessel will be beached.”Shipbreaker Mohamed Edris has lost his left leg and blinded in one eye by the accident. Photo: The GuardianMore than 800 large ships are broken up each year, the vast majority on Asian beaches. Owners can earn an extra $1m to $4m (£740,000 to £2.96m) per ship when selling to Asian yards via cash buyers, instead of opting for recycling yards with higher standards, says Jenssen. “No one forces the industry to send ships to be dismantled there. They choose to send them,” she says.Edris, who came to Chittagong aged 14 and who, until his accident, worked six 14-hour shifts a week, earning £3.20 a day, is one of thousands of workers who have been injured in the yards since they appeared in the 1960s. There are no official statistics but labour groups say that in the past 10 years there have been more than 125 deaths, according to The Guardian.Chittagong is now the world’s largest shipbreaking centre, last year recycling 230 ships and generating 10m tonnes of steel – up to 60% of all the steel used in Bangladesh. Most of the workers migrate from rural areas. Hired out in gangs, they live in overcrowded shacks close to the yards. The Ferdous yard is like many others. Hidden behind high metal gates, it slopes down to the Bay of Bengal. It can take months for young men, wielding only sledgehammers and metal cutters, to dismantle a large vessel.“Chittagong is the cheapest place to scrap ships but the price is suffering. Nine men have died here this year. Nobody feels responsible for these men’s lives,” says Muhammed Ali Shahin, Bangladesh coordinator of Shipbreaking Platform. The law offers little protection, he says. “EU laws stop EU-flagged ships being broken up on Asian beaches, but because owners can easily ‘reflag’ ships it has little strength.”Pressed by labour groups, the UN’s International Maritime Organisation passed the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) in 2009. This demands that ship owners and states do not pose a risk to human health, safety and the environment. But, says Shipbreaking Platform, it does not stop the beaching of vessels, which is blamed for most accidents, and it is unlikely to come into force for years because it requires 15 states, and 40% of world merchant shipping, to have signed up.“The industry is moving to adopt Hong Kong standards,” says Nikos Mikelis, a non-executive director of GMS. “There is a good likelihood of the convention entering into force within the next five to seven years. Ratifying and reaching the HKC targets will not be too difficult.” He argues that groups such as Shipbreaking Platform are naive and, by demanding the end of beaching, are endangering the livelihoods of workers in some of the world’s poorest countries.He does see progress. “Japan and India are investing $100m in upgrades. Forty-one yards out of 120 in Alang, India, now meet HKC standards and 15 others are moving towards safer and cleaner work. But in Bangladesh only one yard [PHP Shipbreaking] meets international standards.”Mikelis says the major shipping companies such as Maersk now have arrangements with individual yards. “The industry wants improvement but it needs to invest to improve,” he says.In the case of Zodiac, Martyn Day argues that the company knew the methods involved in dismantling vessels in Chittagong, yet it sold the Eurus London on in the full knowledge that it would be broken up in unsafe conditions. “They had a duty not to sell vessels to Bangladesh shipyards via their contractors or cash buyers,” he says. “Zodiac sold it to a cash buyer in the knowledge it would be dismantled in unsafe conditions.”In a statement to the Observer, Zodiac said the accident occurred four months after the ship had been sold to a third-party buyer. As a result, it said: “We deny any liability for the injuries suffered by Edris and we dispute the claim.”It added: “The yard where Edris was employed was not Zodiac’s contractor and Zodiac did not select the yard used to dismantle the vessel. Zodiac has no control over the working practices at shipbreaking yards. The claim seeks to extend the law of negligence beyond any recognised boundaries. It is the law of Bangladesh which applies to this case.”The impact of an injury on workers’ families is immense. “Edris provided for seven people,” said one man who knows him. “He has no savings. He is angry. He is now wholly reliant on the generosity of friends and family. His children have become scared of him because he cries a lot and screams in pain.”Edris said: “I feel like a dead man. I have no hope. I will never be able to go back to work. I have steel plates in my body and I can only walk on sticks, I am in constant pain. I want to open a shop, but that needs 500,000 Bdt.“I have seen many men killed and injured. It is very dangerous work. I tell people not to work there.”
7 min read Register Now » In 2018, my company, Miller Heiman Group, did something crazy: After years of relying on multiple customer relationship management systems (CRMs), endless spreadsheets, numerous marketing systems and disorganized data … we decided to start over. From scratch.Related: 4 Reasons Why Companies are Choosing CRM Over Traditional Marketing toolsThis makes sense, because anyone who has worked at a business that’s changed ownership, acquired other companies or expanded into other countries understands the headaches associated with working in a multi-CRM environment.Different business units and regions may use different CRMs, each with its own functionality, data storage process and renewal cycle. Our company used 15 of them! And that scenario created an ineffective environment, to say the least.As a company which advises sales leaders all over the world on how to be more effective, we needed to own our own methodology and drive best practices into our own back office. We became our own case study.This is not insignificant because CRM represents the largest software market in the world, with $39.5 billion in revenue, according to EContent. But instead of funneling our data and processes into an existing CRM structure, we chose to build our own solutions into an off-the-shelf model from the ground up. Why go to all that trouble? In 2017, CIO magazine studied more than a dozen analyst reports and discovered that approximately one-third of all CRM projects fail.That finding, together with our own experience, told us we could do better.What a good CRM should doIn fact, we wanted to actively manage our customer relationships. A CRM should serve as a helpful tool throughout the customer life cycle, whether it’s used by a presale engineer creating a data sheet or a salesperson calculating downstream revenue.We wanted to break out of those silos. With good reason: Our work wasn’t being managed in a centralized or consistent way. Most of our sales leaders avoided our CRM systems and managed their tasks via forecasting calls and a series of spreadsheets.And we weren’t alone in this: We knew that such CRM issues happen at other companies. In fact, just 25 percent of sellers surveyed in our company’s World-Class Sales Practices study expressed a high degree of confidence in their CRMs’ data.So, our goal was to become more efficient. Indeed, before we eliminated our old CRMs, we had been drowning in tedious tasks. Typically, sellers reached out to multiple team members, as well as the client, to gather the information necessary to make even small changes to an account. And this consumed a tremendous amount of selling time: We estimated this was eating up about 50 percent of our time at one point. The result was that we were turning our sellers into administrative assistants.Related: How CRMs Can Spark (or Continue) Fast GrowthOverall, our old CRMs demotivated our sales force personnel and wasted their time — a common complaint, according to anecdotal evidence. In fact, in 2001, Ingersoll-Rand poured $2 million into rolling out a new CRM and discovered that the new system increased its sales’ reps workloads, rather than freeing up their time to sell. The result was a relaunch aimed at mitigating pain points.In sum, we wanted to analyze data, not just store it. All of our previous CRMs had performed data entry and other automated tasks, but none had the capability for a built-in sales methodology. Yet we knew a CRM could do more — including consistent global forecasting and revenue tracking. So, that was the goal we set for ourselves.Here’s what we did.From start to launch, the process took approximately two years. But we didn’t just flip the switch on a new product. We changed our entire back-office process flow and integrated legal, finance IT ops and sales-ops processes, gathering feedback and gaining stakeholder buy-in throughout. We also encountered some valuable lessons and reminders that reinforced our decision:We put end-users first. While a 90 percent adoption rate is the minimum required to affect sales performance, just 47 percent of companies achieve this level. There was no point in creating a new tool if no one used it, so end-user needs were front-of-mind throughout our development and testing process. When Ingersoll-Rand relaunched its CRM, the company directly involved its sales force in the system’s redesign.We added value with predictive analysis. The ability to accurately predict the methodology-backed action that will increase the odds of closing deals lets sellers see what moves they need to make to move an opportunity through the pipeline. But traditional CRMs aren’t built with this function — or sellers’ needs — in mind. Adding an insight-driven arm to the product revolutionized the way our sellers do their jobs.We scrubbed our data. We needed to trust our CRM. That meant combing through all the back-end data from those 15 legacy systems and importing only the information we knew was clean. Dirty data damages your reputation — and your ability to do your job. A 2017 study of home sale prices found that estimates on Homes.com were inaccurate 84 percent of the time. Would you trust a company with that kind of track record to sell your house?We kept existing systems in place to ensure consistency. Although everyone wanted to launch the new tool as quickly as possible, we couldn’t just pull the plug on legacy systems. Our project budget included fees for about a year’s worth of duplicate licenses on contracts with different renewal dates.We invested in tech that increased the time to sell. While sales relationships of the past relied on interpersonal relationships, today’s buyers no longer consider sellers an essential resource. The analysis provided by our new tool changed that: Sellers have instant access to actionable insights that prove their worth. According to Marketing Week, a CRM strategy helps car manufacturer Renault better understand the customer journey and how best to engage those people on the path to purchase.We streamlined to improve security. Housing clients’ personal and financial information in multiple places only increases the likelihood of a massive leak like the JPMorgan Chase breach that affected more than half of American households. A single, dedicated CRM means fewer dangers to monitor — and more visibility into suspicious behavior.We remembered the little things. Our 60-day pilot process involved both internal stakeholders on our operating team and a small group of clients. While we received very little feedback on the CRM’s overall function, one small feature we overlooked was a PDF writer. While our CRM was built with mobile in mind, people still wanted the ability to print documents — a small tweak that added essential functionality.We kept prospective and existing client messaging consistent. If sellers can’t see every client communication in one place, multiple people will reach out. When that happens, your company looks disorganized, and clients and prospects grow frustrated. A dedicated CRM allows the sales team to present a united front.Related: 4 CRM Hacks Every Entrepreneur Should Be UsingIn sum, if I could offer just one takeaway from the whole process, it’s this: A CRM is just a tool. If sellers and sales organizations truly want to find value, they should first align around a consistent sales methodology that guides their actions. When that solid foundation is in place, the right CRM will provide the insights to give your company the competitive edge it deserves. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. April 16, 2019 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.