To press home their 11-point demand -- which includes tri-party contracts, compensation for death on duty, and increased social safety nets -- water transport workers have announced to go on strike from the early hours of Monday.
The strike will be carried out across the country, as per the call of Bangladesh Noujan Shramik Federation (BNSF), said its president Shah E Alma Bunyan.
Water transport workers in Barishal held a rally at Barishal River Port and brought out a procession yesterday noon.
Sk Abul Hashem, secretary of Barishal unit BNSF, said water transport owners have failed to implement the tripartite contract signed in 2016 between owners, government and water transport workers. He said they will continue their strike until the contract is enacted. Initially, it will be workers of cargo and oil tanker-type water transports who will sit for the strike. If anyone tries to thwart the programme or creates an obstacle in the fulfillment of the 11-point demand, then passenger-carrying water transport staffers will also join, said organisers.
Meanwhile, Saidur Rahman Rintu, vice president of Bangladesh Launch Owners Association, said "We requested transport workers to not observe the strike as the owners are trying everything within our capacity to implement the treaty."
However, he said launches are ready to ply during the strike if authorities can provide safety, security and skilled workers to operate vessels and passengers are willing.