The Financial Express

Water transport strike disrupts loading, unloading of goods across Bangladesh

| Updated: October 21, 2020 00:14:55

Lankabangla and Fianancial Express Lankabangla and Fianancial Express
Water transport strike disrupts loading, unloading of goods across Bangladesh

Loading and unloading operations of consumer goods, oil and sand have been affected as water transport workers started a countrywide indefinite strike on Tuesday.

They raised an 11-point charter of demands, including implementation of a 2016 pay scale.

The strike is set to roll into the second day Wednesday as the workers are yet to get any assurance from the authorities concerned.

“Since we are yet to get any assurance of meeting the demands from the government, the strike will continue,” Bangladesh Water Transport Workers’ Federation (BWTWF) General Secretary Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam told The FE on Tuesday evening.

Passenger-carrying transport workers abstained from joining the strike due to Durga Puja, he said.

On October 13, BWTWF, Bangladesh Naval Workers Federation and eight other workers’ unions had jointly called the strike.

On Monday, the workers sat for an eight-hour-long meeting with Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and transport leaders, labour ministry officials and water transport owners over their demand but failed to reach any understanding in this regard.

That prompted the workers to go on their pre-announced indefinite strike from Monday midnight.

BWTWF leader Alam noted that it is the fourth time the workers have abstained from their work over their demand.

The other demands include issuance of landing pass and food allowance by the owners to India-bound vessel workers; and determination of sea and night allowances for all vessel workers and compensation of Tk 1.0 million in case a worker is killed in workplace accidents.

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