Lighterage vessel workers have called off a strike in Chattogram following the assurance from the authorities that their demands, including the cancellation of the lease for Charpara terminal, will be met.
Shipping workers at all levels launched the protest to press home a list of five demands at 6pm on Friday. The waterway transportation of goods across the country from larger vessels anchored at the outer anchorage was suspended due to the protest.
The protests also halted the delivery of goods at 16 terminals on the Karnaphuli River.
After a meeting attended by Chattogram Port Authority Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Shahjahan and local MP MA Latif, the workers ended the strike at 7pm, said Jasim Uddin, the acting general secretary of the Lighterage Workers’ Union.
“The workers will join work now,” he said.
Omor Faruk, secretary of Chattogram Port Authority, said they assured the workers of resolving their problems.
Lighterage vessels are generally used to transport imported goods across the country from larger ships.
The demands of the workers also included the suspension of Chittagong Port Authority’s chairman, removal of the local police chief and the construction of a safe dock for barges by dredging Sangu River’s mouth.
The leaders of the workers’ union said the protesters used to anchor vessels at the Charpara terminal near Patenga Sea Beach instead of using the Karnaphuli River. But the port authorities leased the terminal out without discussing the matter with workers.
Jasim said he had spoken to the port authorities but they could not make any decision on the matter.
“The lease-holders clashed with workers several times at the terminal. The workers started to use the Chinese Ghat near Parki in protest against the attack, but the port authorities evicted that terminal as well, forcing the workers to go on strike.”