Ship workers call off strike after wage hike assurance

Published : 28 Nov 2022 09:00 PM

The boat workers have withdrawn the strike with the assurance of publishing the gazette determining the wages of the workers within the next one month.

Bangladesh Lighter Workers Union Vice President Nabi Alam confirmed this information on Monday evening.

He said, we made 10 point demands.  No claims have been accepted yet.  However, we have withdrawn the strike due to the government's decision to publish the gazette determining the wages of the workers within the next one month.  Until the Gazette fixing the wages is not published, the workers of ships of 1 thousand tons will get Tk 1200 and the workers of ships of more than 1000 tons will get Tk 1500 per person.

Earlier this afternoon, a meeting of the boat owners and workers' organizations was held with Mannujan Sufian, State Minister for Labour and Employment at Labour Bhavan in Bijaynagar, Dhaka.  The owners and workers stated their demands.  Meanwhile, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mannujan Sufian has formed a committee to determine the minimum wage of workers within a month.  The employer has decided to pay interim allowance to the workers for one month.

Boat workers started a strike on 10-point demand including minimum wage of 20 thousand taka across the country including Chattogram from 12 o'clock last Saturday night.  This indefinite strike was announced on November 15 with 10 points of demand.  As a result, the unloading of goods from large ships anchored outside the port was stopped.  At the same time, 18 private wharves in Mazhirghat and Sadarghat area also stopped unloading goods by lighter ships.  Moreover, loading and unloading work at all the wharves in Khulna, Mongla, Noapara, Payra Bandar and Shitalakshya river came to a standstill.

Earlier, the lighter ship workers had announced the suspension of goods transportation by lighter ships in Chattogram from 6 am on November 10, demanding five points, including cancelling the lease of the Charpara ghat used for the departure and arrival of lighter ship workers, digging the mouth of the Sangu river and providing a safe harbour for lighter ships.  Later, the process of cancelling the lease of the Charpara ghat, which is used for the departure and arrival of lighter ship workers in Patenga, and the decision not to take money from the workers at the wharf, the strike was called off and the lighter ship workers returned to work.

Among the 10-point demands of the workers were- setting minimum wage of Tk 20,000 with the provision of appointment letter, identity card and service book to ship workers, formation of Contributory Provident Fund and Seamen Welfare Fund to ensure social security of food allowance and sea allowance, compensation due to accident and death at work 10  Determining lakhs of rupees, stopping the ongoing activities to implement the anti-interested and fruitless project of fuel oil supply through pipeline from Chattogram, relaxation of dumping restrictions on the night movement of sand-bearing bulkheads and dredgers, stopping terrorism, extortion and robbery on the waterways, providing landing passes to workers going to India, all along the Indian border. 

To stop all kinds of harassment, to force all lightening ships to move serially by implementing the rules of transportation of goods from Chattogram port, to cancel the lease at Charpara Ghat and to stop all kinds of irregularities and mismanagement of the Department of Shipping.