Fri. Apr 10th, 2020

PBC24 – Global Bangladeshi news channel

Probashi Barta Corporation (USA)

Water transport workers to begin countrywide strike today

A section of waterways workers are going to enforce a countrywide work abstention for indefinite period from early hours of today (Saturday) demanding appointment letters, food allowance, provident and welfare funds for them.

They asked the authorities and the vessel owners to meet their demands immediately.

Movement of all passengers vessels between Dhaka and 43 routes on southern districts and all goods carrying vessels at places including at Chattogram Port are scheduled to be affected by the strike.

The workers under the banner of Bangladesh Noujan Shramik Federation called the work abstention to press their 11-point of demands including initiatives to full implementation of 2016 pay scale, adopting an appointment system, end intimidation, extortion and robbery on the waterways, providing identification cards and service books to waterways workers, stopping corruption and harassment in enrolment examinations, distribution and renewal process of certificates of masters and other workers and in inspection process, Tk 10 lakh as compensation for the family of any worker in case of death in the workplace or in an accident as well as providing landing passes and stopping harassment of India-bound workers.

They also demanded food allowance for all workers, re-fixing of technical allowances, sea allowances for workers working at Chattogram, Mongla and Payra ports’ outer parts, ensure social security of the workers and set up marks, lights and buoys to ensure safe and protected navigation in waterways.

Earlier on Wednesday, a section of waterways workers under the banner of Noujan Shramik Odhikar Sangrakkhan Oikya Parishad enforced a day-long strike without prior notice to press their 15-point demands including excavation of rivers, ensuring appointment letters and service books, 100 per cent food allowance, holidays and restrooms and treatments for workers.

Same day they withdrew the strike following a meeting between the Oikya Parishad leaders and the state minister for labour and employment Monnujan Sufian at the Department of Labour at Motijheel in Dhaka where the authorities assured them to meet all of their demands.

The federation leaders also met the state minister on Wednesday at the Department of Labour where decision was taken that the vessel owners would give appointment letters, identity cards and service books to the workers under the monitoring of Department of Shipping, provide food allowance to the workers and form provident and welfare funds for the workers, said a press release issued by the labour ministry.

The federation president Shah Alam on Friday said they want implementation of their demands not assurance.

Over two lakh workers work in around 20,000 registered and hundreds other unregistered vessels in Bangladesh.

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