DHAKA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Water transport workers in Bangladesh went on their strike on Tuesday with their four-point demands including increasing wages.
The nationwide strike by some 150,000 water transport workers has paralysed all major river ports, causing troubles to the passengers reliant on waterways.
Demanding a minimum monthly wage of 10,000 taka (127.65 U.S. dollars) and increase in overtime pay, festival bonuses and other benefits, the Bangladesh Water Transport Workers Federation (BWTWF) called the strike.
Shah Alam Bhuiyan, president of BWTWF told journalists that they were compelled to call the indefinite strike as the government failed to convince owners for a hike in wages over the last years.
"The last time the minimum wage got hiked was in 2013 from 3,000 to 4,100 taka."
Bangladesh is criss-crossed by 250 rivers and creeks which are still very vital for its irrigation and transport purposes.
Apart from mounting plight to the passengers, sources said the nationwide strike by water transport workers is taking a heavy toll on the country's exporters and importers.
Dozens of cargo and lighter vessels are stranded in Bangladesh's two seaports -- southeastern Chittagong and southern Mongla -- as imported goods are not being unloaded.
Sources said negotiations are underway among the government, owners and workers to end the strike. Enditem