Strike cripples Bangladesh inland water transport network

Strike cripples Bangladesh inland water transport network

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Operations at river ports and passenger terminals for waterways across Bangladesh have been disrupted after transport workers went on an indefinite strike, bdnews24.com has reported.
The strike to push for a 15-point demand, including pay hike, began at Wednesday midnight.
Bangladesh Water Transport Workers’ Federation (BWTWF) President Shah Alam said that no passenger-carrying vessels left from Dhaka’s Sadarghat terminal since the strike started.Bangladesh Jahaji Shramik Federation (BJSF) President Shukkur Mahmud said that operations of all kinds of cargo vessels have been also stopped.
bdnews24.com correspondents in Barisal, Chandpur and other places, where waterways is the main mode of transport, reported that vessels have been anchored at terminals since Wednesday midnight.
The workers had observed similar strikes several times in the past one year to press for the same 15-point charter of demands. But they withdrew every time the government promised to consider their demands.
BWTWF President Alam said they wanted the monthly wage raised to Tk 8,250 from Tk 4,100 considering the current prices of commodities.
Regarding their meeting with Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan in January, he said, “The minister had asked us to wait one month. We had a meeting with him today (Wednesday). We have called the strike as the meeting failed to reach an understanding.”
bdnews24.com’s Chandpur correspondent reported that all kinds of vessels have been anchored at the river port of the southern district.
In the southern divisional city of Barisal, transport workers stayed away from work and organised demonstrations at the river port area on Thursday morning.
Barisal river terminal’s official Mostafizur Rahman said that workers have stopped operations of all long-haul and short-haul passenger carrying as well cargo vessels.

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