Published:  03:14 AM, 30 November 2019

Water transport workers call countrywide strike

Water transport workers call countrywide strike Water transport workers called a strike from Saturday halting operations on 43 routes linking southern districts to the rest of the country. -Agency

The water transport workers have called a strike for an 11-point charter of demand, including appointment letter and food allowance, from 12:01am on Saturday.The strike will potentially halt water transport operations on the 43 routes linking the southern districts to the rest of the country, reports

The workers have long been demonstrating to press home their the demands, but the launch owners only gave assurances instead of meeting those, alleged Shah Alam, president of Bangladesh Water Transport Workers' Federation. Ham Jalal, a member of Inland Navigation and Passenger Transport Association, said the launch owners struck a five-year deal with the naval workers in 2016 accepting their main demands.

"The deal is ending in 2021. So the workers' strike is unreasonable," he said.According to Shah Alam, the authorities had published a gazette announcing only one demand on salary scale out of 15 at the time.

Labour ministry spokesman Akhtar Hossain said the Department of Shipping in Wednesday's meeting decided to include the workers' appointment letter, identity card and service book in an annual survey checklist to monitor these.

The government also decided in principle to give the workers of the sector food allowance.The decisions would be implemented by March, 2020 through inter-ministerial meetings, Akhtar said.But Shah Alam said the workers want the demands to be met, not any assurances.

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