Launch workers call off strike
Bangladesh Water Transport Workers Federation (BWTWF) last night called off their countrywide indefinite strike after vessel owners “agreed to fulfil their 15-point demands”.
The decision was made in an eight-hour tripartite meeting at the shipping ministry.
“We withdrew the strike as the owners agreed to meet our demands following interference by the government,” Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam, general secretary of BWTWF, told The Daily Star.
The owners agreed to pay each worker a minimum monthly wage of Tk 9,000. They also agreed to revise the whole salary structure, Alam added.
Currently, the minimum wage is Tk 4,100 a month.
The workers had been abstaining from work since April 21 to press home their demands, including a minimum monthly wage of Tk 10,000 and increases in overtime pay, festival bonuses and other benefits.
On the night of April 22, the workers exempted passenger vessels from the strike considering the suffering of people, particularly of the HSC examinees.
All types of vessels started operations last night following complete withdrawal of the strike.
State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid, senior officials from the labour and employment ministry and leaders of different associations of vessel owners and workers joined the meeting, with Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan in the chair.