Workers Strike Down Ctg Port Over Bonus
Thursday, 17 September 2009

Hundreds of workers and employees at Chittagong port abstained from work on Thursday demanding increased festival bonus, disrupting the cargo handling at the country's premier port.

The workers and employees, who are members of Chittagong Port Stevedores and Contractors Employees Union (CPSCEU), staged the work abstention since 8am, announcing that they would not rejoin work until their demand was met.

Chittagong Port Dock Workers and Employees Federation (CPDWEF) has supported the strike.

Around 600 workers engaged by the berth operators responsible for keeping the jetties operational did not join work in the morning.

The striking workers responsible for cargo handling include supervisors, assistant superviors, jetty supervisors, foremen, tally clerks.

Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) chairman commodore R U Ahmed confirmed that some workers were on strike and told bdnews24.com that the CPA was taking steps to resolve the matter.

The berth operators have already been asked to adopt effective measures to address the grievances of workers and employees, he said.

The CPA chief claimed that port operation was running all right and hoped the crisis should be over soon.

The berth operators spokesperson Fazle Ikram Chowdhury could not be contacted by bdnews24.com.

CPSCEU president Rashid Ahammad Chowdhury told bdnewsw24.com that taking advantage of the caretaker government's regime, the berth operators had virtually halved the festival bonuses of employees and workers.

The unionists have gone on the strike in protest.

He said they would press on with the strike until the festival bonus amounts are up. No bilateral discussion has yet been attempted, Chowdhury added.

The CPSCEU sought CPA's intervention in resolving the issue.

CPDWEF joint secretary Alamgir Hossain told bdnews24.com that his organisation has given its support to the strikers. Their support will continue until the disgruntled workers are satisfied, he added.

Source: bdnews24.com

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