Sunday, 5 February, 2023
E-paper

Water transport workers withdraw indefinite strike

The leaders of the water transport workers have withdrawn their strike demanding wage hike as of Monday evening, following some sign of initiative from the line ministry.

The decision was taken after a meeting of owners, workers and authority at the Labour Department building in the capital led by State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian.

Vice President of Bangladesh Lighterage vessel Workers Union Nabi Alam told UNB the strike was withdrawn as the government assured a gazette notification will be issued raising the wage within a month.

The State Minister said a proposal formulation committee in coordination with the government, owners and workers' representatives has been formed to determine the new wage structure for the workers of the inland waterways under the private sector.

Within the next one month, the proposal committee will recommend the new wage structure, said Monnujan Sufian.

“From this month till the implementation of the new wage structure, the workers of 100 ton cargo ships and passenger launches will get an additional allowance of Tk 1200 per month along with their wages. And the workers of ships above 1000 tons will get an additional allowance of Tk 1500 per month,” she said

The state minister said that the other problems of shipping workers will be solved after discussion with the relevant authorities.

From Sunday, the water transport workers embarked on a countryside strike to press home their 10 point demands, including fixing their minimum wage at Tk 20,000.

At present, a water transport worker gets a minimum wage of Tk 7,750 monthly and they demanded a hike in the context of abnormally rising commodities prices.

Other demands of the workers were- 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.