Monday, 30 January, 2023
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Passengers continue to suffer as water transport workers’ strike enters day 2

Passengers continue to suffer as water transport workers’ strike enters day 2

Water transport workers continued their countrywide strike for the second consecutive day on Monday to press home their 10-point demand including wage hike.

Passengers are facing trouble as launch operations  from Barishal, Chandpur Barguna remained suspended since Sunday and Khulna’s waterway communication with southern part (Dakop, Paikgachha, Koira, Satkhira) also remained halted.

The workers staged demonstrations at Khulna launch terminal this morning, reports our Khulna correspondent.

Cargo launch services also remained suspended in the district.

At present, a water transport worker gets a minimum wage of Tk 7,750 monthly when commodities prices have gone up abnormally, said Member of the Khulna Noujan Sangam Parishad Farooq Hossain.

He said they have been repeatedly demanding from the owners for increase in wages but they did not pay any heed.

The workers will continue their strike abstaining from work until their demands are met, said Khulna Divisional Organising Secretary of Bangladesh Launch Workers’ Association Delwar Hossain.

In Barguna, low-income earning passengers who want to travel to  Dhaka are the worst sufferers.

Delwar who works in a Dhaka hotel said he has to return to work by today but to afford the bus fare he will now have to starve for two days.

“My grandson has to be taken to Dhaka for treatment of his broken leg but after reaching launch terminal I got to know no launch will operate. Cannot go to Dhaka now on bus with his condition and hiring an ambulance will be very costly,” said Mojibur Rahman, from Char Colony area in Barguna.

 

On November 19, Noujan Sramik Sangram Parishad announced to go on an indefinite strike across the country from November 26 midnight to press home their 10-point demand, including fixing their minimum wage at Tk 20,000.

Other demands of the workers are- providing appointment letter, identity card and service book to workers, formation of Contributory Provident Fund and Seafarer Welfare Fund to provide food and sea allowances, providing Tk 10 lakh compensation for accident and death at work.

Besides, relaxation of restrictions on nighttime movement of sand-carrying bulkheads and dredgers, stopping terrorism, extortion and robbery on waterways, stopping harassment along the Indian border in providing landing passes to workers travelling India, 100% enforcement of goods transport policy at Chattogram port to force all lightering vessels to maintain serial, canceling the lease at Charpara Ghat and stopping all kinds of irregularities and mismanagement by the Department of Shipping.