Passengers bear the brunt on 2nd day of water transport strike

water transport strike
Photo: Star

Passengers across the country are facing hardships for the second consecutive day due to a strike called by water transport workers.

Movement of all types of passenger launches across the country, including in Patuakhali ghat, was halted due to the strike that started on Saturday midnight.

The workers' 10-point demand include an increase of minimum monthly wage to Tk 20,000.

Many passengers were returning from launch terminals in the southern part of the country after failing to avail transport.

"I needed to go to Dhaka today for an emergency, but could not," a disappointed Laila Begum of Barabighai union said while returning from Patuakhali ghat.

Abdur Rahman Mia, a resident of Chiknikandi area of Galachipa upazila, said he did not know about the strike.

"It was not right to halt launch services like this. How are we going to travel now? If I had been informed in advance, I would try to go by alternative route, I would not have come to the launch ghat," he added.

"The owners have been repeatedly requested to increase the salary. But they did not listen to us. We will keep launch operations stopped like this until our salaries are increased," said Amir Hossain, a worker of the two-storeyed launch Sundarban-14 of Patuakhali-Dhaka river route.

Kalam, a worker of launch Prince Awlad-7, said, "The price of everything has increased but our salary has not increased. It's hard to run the family and household. If our salaries are not increased, we will die of starvation. I request the owners to increase our salary."

Patuakhali River Port Officer Mamunur Rashid said discussions with the government, labour leaders, and transport owners are underway.

"However, no decision has been taken to call off the strike yet," he added.


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