Authorities concerned assure workers of meeting their demands
Following assurances from the administration, water transport workers in Barisal have withdrawn their launch strike on Monday night.
Confirming the matter to Dhaka Tribune, Saidur Rahman Rintu, vice president of Bangladesh Launch Owners Association, said: “The launch strike has been withdrawn after the authorities concerned assured the workers of ensuring bail to the launch masters.
“Barisal City Corporation Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah took the initiative to put an end to the crisis.”
Echoing the same, Master Abul Hashem Mia, president of Barisal Bangladesh Water Transport Workers Federation (BWTWF), said: “The launches have started anchoring at the port. They started to sail for their destinations around 9:30pm on Monday.”
Earlier in the day, the workers had enforced an indefinite strike on 20 local routes of Barisal in protest against the bail cancellation of two staff members of a launch.
They were demanding the bail for Master Jamal Hossen and Ruhul Amin, who were sent to jail after the cancellation of bail by the Marine Court in a case filed in 2020.
This sudden BWTWF move caused much suffering for thousands of passengers who travel on this route every day.
Master Abul Hashem said: “Last year, around 1am, two launches of the same company collided with each other due to dense fog near Meghna River’s Miar Char area. No passengers were injured in the incident.
“Following the collision, the certificates of four people, including the two masters, were confiscated by the authorities for four months. The government later filed a case with the Marine Court over the accident.”
“However, on Monday, when Master Ruhul Amin and Master Jamal Hossain voluntarily appeared before the court, the judge canceled their bail and ordered them to be sent to jail,” the Barisal BWTWF chief said, claiming that this strike was announced by the workers for the release of their colleagues.
Speaking with the correspondent, some of the protesting workers said that they did not want to go on a strike – putting general passengers in great distress – but rather were forced to do so as some government officials had denied bail to their fellow workers.