Biman strike begins

Employees from other branches have also joined the protests as operations at the Shah Jalal International Airport hover on the brink.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 7 Jan 2013, 10:25 PM
Updated : 7 Jan 2013, 10:25 PM

The services at the Shah Jalal International Airport here is hovering on the brink after a strike by Biman Bangladesh Airlines employees began early on Tuesday.

According to the airport's website (http://www.shahjalal-airport.com), two flights to Doha and Singapore from Dhaka and three domestic flights were scheduled for takeoff between 6am-9am.

Striking employees claim these flights have not taken off as ground handling has been suspended. However, they did report of the three flights from Delhi and Kolkata and Delhi which were to land during this time.

Staff from other branches of Biman have also joined in the movement and demonstrations were taking place at its headquarters , Balaka Bhaban.

Officials and cabin crews were not able to come to office in the morning as employees shut down the Biman's transport facilities.

The protestors say the strike will continue until their demands are met.

The Biman headquarters at Balaka Bhaban remained virtually besieged since 9am on Sunday, with Biman Sramik League staging a sit-in protest in support of its seven point demands including withdrawal of allegations made against its President.

The other demands of the association include providing allowances for meal and uniforms, implementation of organisation setup brought in from India and the employees' personal TP, 100 percent medical allowance and regularising those who have been working for or more than five years at Biman.

Biman officials were kept off the office premises by the protesters and all activities were stopped.

Monday's protest followed a failed discussion between the employee association and the Biman's Acting Managing Director Mosaddeque Ahmed on Sunday, after which Ahmed was confined for 11 hours in his office until police intervention early on Monday.

Employees of the national flag carrier had loudly protested against the erstwhile Chairman Jamal Uddin in March last year with "human chains" and rallies, that was followed by an indefinite strike.

The strike was withdrawn after the Civil Aviation Minister assured the protesters that their demands would be met.
 

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher