Workers say water transport strike will continue

Workers say water transport strike will continue

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Dhaka – Ignoring the government’s call to withdraw it, vessel workers have decided to continue with the indefinite strike until their minimum wage is fixed.
Earlier on Saturday evening, the government sought time till May 10 from the vessel workers to fix a minimum wage for them after forming a ministerial committee.Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam, general secretary of Bangladesh River Vessel Workers Federation, told UNB on Sunday night that they talked to the leaders of different vessel workers’ associations about Saturday’s request of State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu to give the government time till May 10 for resolving the problems.
“Most of the leaders opined to continue the strike. Following their opinions, we’ve decided to continue with our strike and we’ve already informed it to the director (Labour),” he said.
Ashiqul also urged the vessel owners to give in to their demand to fix the minimum wage to break the deadlock.
River vessel workers enforced an indefinite strike on Wednesday midnight.
However, two days after its enforcement to press for a 15-point demand, the vessel strike was partially postponed on Friday night. The workers decided to run only passenger-carrying vessels until May 10 following assurances from the government of meeting their demands and considering the sufferings of passengers.
State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu sat in a meeting with leaders of agitating vessel workers’ federations and different river vessels owners’ associations on Saturday evening at the Labour Bhaban in the city.
Though the state minister urged the worker leaders to postpone the strike until May 10 to resolve the problems, the workers took until 10pm on Sunday time to make their decision.
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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