Water transport workers to continue strike, meet with Gov end undecided

Water transport workers to continue strike, meet with Gov end undecided

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River vessel workers decided to continue their strike as a meeting between owners’ associations and the government to resolve the crisis over their some demands ended inconclusively on Thursday.The river vessel workers under the banner of Water Transport Workers’ Movement Committee went on an indefinite strike early Tuesday to press home their four-point demand, including fixation of minimum salary for the river transport workers at Tk 10,000.
Officials at the Department of Labour sat with various associations of vessel owners at its conference room to discuss the issue on Thursday morning but it concluded without any decision.
Contacted, Khorshed Alam, senior vice president of Cargo Vessel Owners Association, told UNB that the meeting, chaired by director of the Department of Labour SM Ashrafuzzaman, was inconclusive.
“We gave our opinion that we’ll raise the minimum salary maintaining continuity with the previous gazette of wage structure. According to the existing wage structure, a worker gets minimum Tk 5,700. Now we have proposed to fix the minimum salary at Tk 8,000, which is very much logical we think,” he said.
The Labour Department might take an initiative to sit again on Saturday for discussion to resolve the crisis, he said.
Leaders of Coastal Ship Owners’ Association and Passenger Launch Owners’ Association attended the meeting.
Meeting sources said the owners associations placed several proposals at the meeting. The Labour Department is scrutinising the proposals. If necessary, the department will sit with workers and owners again separately to solve the problem.
Their other demands are providing compensation for any loss in any accident, checking robbery on river routes and increasing the navigability of rivers.

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