Water transport workers call off strike over pay hike

The government forms a committee to fix their new pay structure

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 28 Nov 2022, 12:39 PM
Updated : 28 Nov 2022, 12:39 PM

Water transport workers have called off a nationwide strike over a minimum wage of Tk 20,000 and several other demands. 

The announcement came after a meeting between State Minister for Labour and Employment Monnujan Sufian and representatives of vessel owners and workers on Monday. 

Officials of the shipping ministry, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority and Bangladesh Shipping Corporation were also present.

A committee formed by the government to fix the pay structure for the workers will sit on Tuesday and complete the work within a month, said Chowdhury Ashikur Rahman, general secretary of the Water Transport Workers Council. 

The meeting also decided that the workers of vessels with a capacity of up to 1 tonne will get an allowance of Tk 1,200 from November, according to Ashikur. The workers of vessels with bigger capacity will get Tk 1,500 in allowances. 

The council started the strike on Sunday, crippling goods transport and passenger travel across the country.

Workers’ demands: 

  • The minimum wage of water transport workers should be set at Tk 20,000

  • Workers going to India should be provided with landing passes

  • Restrictions on the overnight movement of bulkheads should be relaxed

  • Cargo transport policies should be fully implemented in Bangladesh ports

  • Construction of a shelter at Chattogram port and the lease of Charpara Ghat should be cancelled

  • The ongoing supply of fuel oil through the pipeline from Chattogram port should be stopped 

River transportation in and out of the ports was hit by the strike. BIWTA Transport Inspector Siddiqur Rahman said the news of ending the strike was being announced by loudspeaker. 

Due to the work stoppage, cargo unloading operations at several lightering vessels stationed on the outer anchorage of the Chattogram port and the banks of the Karnaphuli River came to a standstill.

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