River vessel workers to decide fate of ongoing strike today

River vessel workers to decide fate of ongoing strike today

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River vessel workers, who have been enforcing an indefinite strike from Wednesday last, on Saturday came up with the decision to inform the government within 24 hours whether they will continue the strike or withdraw.Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam, general secretary of Bangladesh River Vessel Workers Federation, said this while talking to the reporters after a meeting with State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu and the vessel owners.

“Government sought time till May 10 from us to form a ministerial committee in order to fix a minimum wage for the vessel workers,” said Ashiqul.

“We will inform our decision about the continuation of the strike after discussing it with other members of the ederation within 10pm on Sunday,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the vessels owners and workers sat with the minister following the government’s call to break the deadlock.

Terming the demand of the vessel workers as logical, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu said the government is very sincere to solve the problems of the workers in the sector.

A committee will be formed comprising all the the stakeholders, including the representatives of the vessel owners and workers, and headed by an additional secretary of the ministry to find out a solution, he informed.

The junior minister said the government has sought time till May 10 from the vessel workers for the process.

Vessel workers went on an indefinite strike across the country on Wednesday midnight to press home their 15-point demand.

The strike, jointly enforced by Bangladesh Water Transport Workers Federation and Bangladesh River Vessel Workers Federation, began on the 37 route across the country.

The associations’ demands include raising the minimum basic wage of the vessel workers to Tk 10,000 from the existing Tk 4,150, giving them formal appointment, issuing identity cards and service book, and ensuring their social security.

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