The leaders of the water transport workers have withdrawn their strike demanding wage hike as of Monday evening. The decision was taken after a meeting of owners, workers and authority at the Labour Department building in the capital led by State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian. Vice President of Bangladesh Lighterage vessel Workers Union Nabi Alam told UNB the strike was withdrawn as the government assured a gazette notification will be issued raising the wage within a month. The State Minister said a proposal formulation committee in coordination with the government, owners and workers' representatives has been formed to determine the new wage structure for the workers of the inland waterways under the private sector. Within the next one month, the proposal committee will recommend the new wage structure, said Monnujan Sufian. “From this month till the implementation of the new wage structure, the workers of 100 ton cargo ships and passenger launches will get an additional allowance of Tk 1200 per month along with their wages. And the workers of ships above 1000 tons will get an additional allowance of Tk 1500 per month,” she said The state minister said that the other problems of shipping workers will be solved after discussion with the relevant authorities. Read more: Day 2 of water transport workers’ strike: Passengers bear the brunt as always From Sunday, the water transport workers embarked on a countryside strike to press home their 10 point demands, including fixing their minimum wage at Tk 20,000. At present, a water transport worker gets a minimum wage of Tk 7,750 monthly and they demanded a hike in context of abnormally rising commodities prices. Other demands of the workers were- providing appointment letter, identity card and service book to workers, formation of Contributory Provident Fund and Seafarer Welfare Fund to provide food and sea allowances, providing Tk 10 lakh compensation for accident and death at work. Read more: Countrywide water transport strike: Unloading at Ctg port halted Besides, relaxation of restrictions on nighttime movement of sand-carrying bulkheads and dredgers, stopping terrorism, extortion and robbery on waterways, stopping harassment along the Indian border in providing landing passes to workers travelling India, 100% enforcement of goods transport policy at Chattogram port to force all lightering vessels to maintain serial, canceling the lease at Charpara Ghat and stopping all kinds of irregularities and mismanagement by the Department of Shipping.
Water transport workers continued their countrywide strike for the second consecutive day – to press home their 10-point demand, including wage hike. The workers held demonstrations at Khulna launch terminal this morning, reports our Khulna correspondent. Read more: Countrywide water transport strike: Unloading at Ctg port halted Passengers are, as always, suffering as all launches from Khulna to the southern part (Dakop, Paikgachha, Koira, Satkhira) have been halted. Cargo launch services also remained suspended. At present, a worker is getting a minimum wage of Tk 7,750 monthly when prices of essentials have shot up abnormally, said member of Khulna Noujan Sramik Sangram Parishad Farooq Hossain. He said they have been repeatedly demanding increase in wages but water transport owners did not pay any heed. Read more: Passengers suffer as Barishal water transport workers go on indefinite strike The workers will continue their strike, abstaining from work until their demands are met, said Khulna Divisional Organising Secretary of Bangladesh Launch Workers’ Association, Delwar Hossain. On November 19, Noujan Sramik Sangram Parishad announced to go on an indefinite strike across the country from November 26 midnight to press home their 10-point demand, including setting their minimum wage at Tk 20,000. Other demands of the workers are providing appointment letter, identity card and service book to workers, formation of Contributory Provident Fund and Seafarer Welfare Fund to provide food and sea allowances, providing Tk 10 lakh compensation for accident and death at work.
Transport owners have threatened to enforce a strike in all eight districts of Rajshahi division from December 1 for an indefinite period, surrounding the BNP's divisional rally on December 3. Rajshahi Divisional Road Transport Owners' Association made the announcement at a press briefing in Natore Saturday. Safkat Manjur Biplob, president of the association, said they called the strike to press home their 11-point demand, including the scrapping of the Road Transport Act 2018 and the ban on movement of illegal three-wheelers and battery-driven auto-rickshaws on highways by November 30. read more: BNP’s Sylhet rally plagued with transport strike BNP’s Sylhet rally plagued with transport strike The BNP on September 27 announced a series of public rallies in 10 divisional and big cities. The party began the rallies by holding the first one in Chattogram on October 12. Transport owners and workers called strikes ahead of all the rallies in various cities, except in Chattogram and Cumilla. The BNP will end its divisional rallies through a mass gathering in Dhaka city on December 10. read more: Amid relative ease, BNP’s 8th divisional rally begins in Cumilla
Unlike the previous programmes, BNP is set to hold its eighth-divisional rally in Cumilla City on Saturday amid relative ease, creating huge enthusiasm among the local leaders and followers of the party. Cumilla City wore a festive look with posters, banners and billboards and colourful processions on Friday as the BNP started taking over the city to make the rally a success. As part of its programme of divisional rallies that started in Chattogram last month, BNP leaders said they will stage yet another huge showdown through the rally - the eighth in the series - in the city. The party leaders and activists have erected a stage at Cumilla Town Hall ground where the rally is scheduled to begin at 12pm. Having failed to put any dent on the huge gathering of BNP supporters on at least six previous occasions, the transport owners and workers association leaders did not call for any strike this time centring opposition’s Cumilla rally. As the rally is going to be held with no transport strike to impede it, and a quite straightforward process for gaining the police permit, there is an expectation of Saturday's rally to be even bigger than the ones held before. This is posing as a challenge to the party's leaders. Despite no shortage of supporters attending the previous rallies, the BNP has been claiming that the attendance would have been even bigger had the government not created the alleged barriers to people's participation. Talking to UNB, a number of local people heaved a sigh of relief as no transport strike was imposed in Cumilla ahead of BNP's rally. Read more: On eve of rally, Sylhet turns into sea of BNP supporters BNP supporters had feared that the intra-party conflict between two of their local influential leaders- city unit convener Aminur Rashid Yasin and ex-city mayor and expelled leader Monirul Haque Sakku--- could negatively impact on the party’s efforts to hold a mammoth rally. However, local party activists told UNB that both Yasin and Sakku have been busy mobilising their followers to make the rally a success - if anything, they are competing on the basis of who can mobilise more. Earlier in the day, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain alleged that the government has been resorting to various tricks to prevent a 'mass wave' towards their rally. Speaking at a press conference, he said Cumilla has turned into a city of festivals as thousands of leaders and activists from different areas thronged there in advance, defying various threats and intimidation. The BNP leader did allege that police 'at the behest of the government' has been harassing them and raiding the houses of their party leaders and activists ahead of the rally. Besides, he said the ruling party ‘cadres’ are threatening the opposition leaders and activists with dire consequences, including to implicate them in fictitious cases, if they join BNP’s rally. Mosharraf, however, said they will hold their programme in a peaceful manner without responding to any provocative acts by the ruling party. BNP vice chairman Barkatullah Bulu said they have taken all-out preparation to hold a ‘memorable’ rally in Cumilla. “Though no transport strike has been enforced, our leaders and workers have been facing obstacles from the ruling cadres while on their way to Cumilla. But no barrier can stop our leaders and activisists from taking part in the rally," said Bulu. BNP supporters were seen heading to Cumilla town from different upazilas and adjoining districts, including Chandpur, Brahmanbaria and Feni, since Friday morning a day ahead of the rally- still fearing obstruction by the ruling party activists on Saturday. Read more: BNP rally in Sylhet: Police set up check-posts at 19 points The rally venue has been crowded since Friday morning as BNP leaders and activists gathered there in processions. As they have no permission to stay overnight at the venue, the organisers have arranged food and accommodation for them. The rally in Cumilla on Saturday will be the 8th one by the BNP at the divisional level after 7 others were held in Chattogram, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rangpur, Barishal, Faridpur and Sylhet. As part of the move to continue the pace of its ongoing movement, the BNP on September 27 announced a series of public rallies in 10 divisional cities. The organisers said the rallies are meant to denounce the price hike of daily essentials and fuels, the death of five party men in previous police action in Bhola, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, and Jashore, and to ensure the freedom of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. The BNP has long been demanding that the next general election be held under a caretaker government, not under any political government--a demand sharply rejected by the ruling Awami League as the constitution does not allow it to happen. As the rallies have progressed, they could be said to have become increasingly centred on this central, longstanding demand - to bring back the caretaker government provision in the constitution before the next parliamentary elections.
Russia has targeted Ukraine’s battered power infrastructure with another barrage of strikes, forcing the country’s last three fully functioning nuclear power plants to disconnect from the grid and leaving “the vast majority of electricity consumers” without power, the Energy Ministry says. In a Facebook post Wednesday, the ministry said that power workers are working to restore supplies, “but given the extent of the damage, we will need time.” THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A punishing new barrage of Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure on Wednesday caused power outages across large parts of the country as well as neighboring Moldova, adding to damage to Ukraine’s power network and misery for civilians as winter begins. Multiple regions reported attacks in quick succession. In several regions, authorities reported strikes on critical infrastructure. Officials in Kyiv said that three people were dead and nine wounded in the capital after a Russian strike hit a two-story building. Russia has been pounding the power grid and other facilities with missiles and exploding drones for weeks. The new strikes piled further intense stress on an energy system that is being damaged faster than it can be repaired. Before the latest barrage, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had said that Russian strikes had already damaged around half of Ukraine’s infrastructure. Rolling power outages have become the horrid new normal for millions and the latest barrage affected water supplies, too. Ukrainian officials believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is hoping that the misery of unheated and unlit homes in the cold and dark of winter will turn public opinion against a continuation of the war but say it’s having the opposite effect, strengthening Ukrainian resolve. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said Wednesday that “one of the capital’s infrastructure facilities has been hit” and there were “several more explosions in different districts” of the city. He said water supplies were knocked out in all of Kyiv. There were power outages in parts of Kyiv, while power was out in the wider Kyiv region, in the northern city of Kharkiv, the western city of Lviv, the northern Chernihiv region and in the southern Odesa region. In Moldova, Infrastructure Minister Andrei Spinu said that “we have massive power outages across the country,” whose Soviet-era energy systems remain interconnected with Ukraine. There was a similar outage in Moldova on Nov. 15. The country’s pro-Western president, Maia Sandu, said in a statement that “Russia left Moldova in the dark.” She said that the future of Moldova, a country of about 2.6 million people, “must remain toward the free world.” Read more: Strike on Ukrainian maternity hospital kills 2-day-old baby Power also was out in most parts of the western Khmelnytskyi region, governor Serhii Hamalii said on Telegram. He added that a nuclear power plant in the region was disconnected from the Ukrainian electricity grid. The latest onslaught came hours after Ukrainian authorities said an overnight rocket attack destroyed a hospital maternity ward in southern Ukraine, killing a 2-day-old baby. Following the overnight strike in Vilniansk, close to the city of Zaporizhzhia, the baby’s mother and a doctor were pulled alive from the rubble. The region’s governor said the rockets were Russian. The strike adds to the gruesome toll suffered by hospitals and other medical facilities — and their patients and staff — in the Russian invasion that will enter its tenth month this week. They have been in the firing line from the outset, including a March 9 airstrike that destroyed a maternity hospital in the now-occupied port city of Mariupol. First lady Olena Zelenska wrote on Twitter that a 2-day-old boy died in the strike and expressed her condolences. “Horrible pain. We will never forget and never forgive,” she said. Photos posted by the governor showed thick smoke rising above mounds of rubble, being combed by emergency workers against the backdrop of a dark night sky. The State Emergency Service said the two-story building was destroyed. Medical workers’ efforts have been complicated by the succession of Russian attacks in recent weeks on Ukraine’s infrastructure. The situation is even worse in the southern city of Kherson, from which Russia retreated nearly two weeks ago after months of occupation — cutting power and water lines. Many doctors in the city are working in the dark, unable to use elevators to transport patients to surgery and operating with headlamps, cell phones and flashlights. In some hospitals, key equipment no longer works. “Breathing machines don’t work, X-ray machines don’t work ... There is only one portable ultrasound machine and we carry it constantly,” said Volodymyr Malishchuk, the head of surgery at a children’s hospital in the city. On Tuesday, after strikes on Kherson seriously wounded 13-year-old Artur Voblikov, a team of health staff carefully maneuvered the sedated boy up six flights of a narrow staircase to an operating room to amputate his left arm. Read more: Deadly missile strike adds to Ukraine war fears in Poland Malischchuk said that three children wounded by Russian strikes have come to the hospital this week, half as many as had previously been admitted in all of the nine months since the invasion began. Picking up a piece of shrapnel that was found in a 14-year-old boy’s stomach, he said children are arriving with severe head injuries and ruptured internal organs. Artur’s mother, Natalia Voblikova, sat in the dark hospital with her daughter, waiting for his surgery to end. “You can’t even call (Russians) animals, because animals take care of their own,” said Voblikova wiping tears from her eyes. “But the children ... Why kill children?” The European Parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly backed a resolution labeling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism for its invasion of and actions in Ukraine. The nonbinding but symbolically significant resolution passed in a 494-58 vote with 48 abstentions. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the vote. “Russia must be isolated at all levels and be held accountable in order to end its longstanding policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe,” he wrote on Twitter. After Wednesday’s strikes, senior Zelenskyy aide Andriy Yermak wrote on Telegram: “The terrorists immediately confirm that they are terrorists — they launch rockets. Naive losers.”
An overnight rocket attack destroyed a hospital maternity ward in southern Ukraine, killing a 2-day-old baby, Ukrainian authorities said Wednesday. Ukraine's first lady said the attack caused “horrible pain,” vowing that “we will never forget and never forgive." The baby’s mother and a doctor were pulled alive from the rubble in Vilniansk, close to the city of Zaporizhzhia. The region's governor said the rockets were Russian. The strike adds to the gruesome toll suffered by hospitals and other medical facilities — and their patients and staff — in the Russian invasion that will enter its tenth month this week. They have been in the firing line from the outset, including a March 9 airstrike that destroyed a maternity hospital in the now-occupied port city of Mariupol. “At night, Russian monsters launched huge rockets at the small maternity ward of the hospital in Vilniansk. Grief overwhelms our hearts — a baby was killed who had just seen the light of day. Rescuers are working at the site,” said the regional governor, Oleksandr Starukh, writing on the Telegram messaging app. First lady Olena Zelenska wrote on Twitter that a 2-day-old boy died in the strike and expressed her condolences. “Horrible pain. We will never forget and never forgive,” she said. Photos posted by the governor showed thick smoke rising above mounds of rubble, being combed by emergency workers against the backdrop of a dark night sky. Read more: Deadly missile strike adds to Ukraine war fears in Poland The State Emergency Service initially said a baby was killed and that a new mother and a doctor were pulled from the rubble, and that they were the only people in the ward at the time. The service specified in a follow-up post on Telegram that the rescued woman was the newborn’s mother. The emergency service said the two-story building was destroyed. Vilniansk is in the Ukrainian-held north of the Zaporizhzhia region, and is about 500 kilometers (300 miles) southeast of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. Other parts of Zaporizhzhia are Russian-held and it is one of four Ukrainian regions that Russia illegally annexed in September after internationally condemned sham referendums. Medical workers' efforts have been complicated by unrelenting Russian attacks in recent weeks on Ukraine's infrastructure that officials say have caused huge damage to the power grid. The situation is even worse in the southern city of Kherson, from which Russia retreated nearly two weeks ago after months of occupation — cutting power and water lines. Many doctors in the city are working in the dark, unable to use elevators to transport patients to surgery and operating with headlamps, cell phones and flashlights. In some hospitals, key equipment no longer works. “Breathing machines don’t work, X-ray machines don’t work ... There is only one portable ultrasound machine and we carry it constantly,” said Volodymyr Malishchuk, the head of surgery at a children’s hospital in the city. On Tuesday, after strikes on Kherson seriously wounded 13-year-old Artur Voblikov, a team of health staff carefully maneuvered the sedated boy up six flights of a narrow staircase to an operating room to amputate his left arm. Malischchuk said that three children wounded by Russian strikes have come to the hospital this week, half as many as had previously been admitted in all of the nine months since the invasion began. Picking up a piece of shrapnel that was found in a 14-year-old boy’s stomach, he said children are arriving with severe head injuries and ruptured internal organs. Artur's mother, Natalia Voblikova, sat in the dark hospital with her daughter, waiting for his surgery to end. “You can’t even call (Russians) animals, because animals take care of their own,” said Voblikova wiping tears from her eyes. “But the children ... Why kill children?” In the northeastern city of Kupiansk, two civilians were killed and two more were wounded by Russian shelling on Wednesday morning, a regional official said. A nine-story residential building and a clinic were damaged, and a 55-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man died, Kharkiv governor Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram. Read more: Russian missiles cross into Poland during strike on Ukraine, killing 2 Kupiansk was an early prize of Ukraine’s lightning offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region in September and, like other recaptured settlements, has seen repeated shelling by Russian forces which many Ukrainian officials describe as retaliation. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “the terrorist state continues to fight against civilians and civilian objects.” ”The enemy has once again decided to try to achieve with terror and murder what he wasn’t able to achieve for nine months and won’t be able to achieve,” he said on Telegram.
Water transport workers announced to go on an indefinite strike across the country from November 26 at midnight to press home their 10-point demand, including increasing wages. The workers’ demands include providing appointment letters, identity cards and service books. To make this strike successful, a protest rally was brought out from the Barishal river port organized by the Divisional Vessel Workers Sangram Parishad on Saturday afternoon, said Nazrul Islam, president of the Parishad. Read more: Inland water transport suspended as Cyclone ‘Sitrang’ approaches Later they formed a human chain in the port area. Among others, Bangladesh Trade Union Central District Committee General Secretary AK Azad, Labour Union Coordinator Mozammel Sikder and Harunur Rashid Sikder spoke on the programme. Read more: Inland water transport operations resume as Sitrang weakens
Bus services between the capital city and five southern districts including Barishal have halted due to a strike enforced by transport workers and owners ahead the BNP’s rally on Saturday in Faridpur. Transport strike has hit the southern districts of Barishal, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Barguna and Jhalkati since 6am Friday. This meant that no passenger bus is now running between Dhaka and the five districts. Read: Commuters suffer as 38-hr transport strike begins in Faridpur ahead of BNP rally The tourist spot Kuakata is also bearing the brunt of the strike amid peak tourist season. Within a span of one week transportation between Barishal and Dhaka got disrupted centering the BNP rallies. The region was under a two-day strike centring the BNP’s divisional rally on November 5. Commuters were suffering a lot as they had to go back from Barishl bus terminal due to the strike enforced without any previous announcement. Golam Mashrek Bablu, president of Barishal Bus Owners Group, confirming the strike said that workers and owners of greater Faridpur bus association called for a 38-hour strike from Friday morning to Saturday night. Read: Thousands throng Suhrawardy Udyan for Jubo League's golden jubilee rally “Faridpur’s bus owners and workers will not allow operation of buses coming from the southern districts to cross Bhanga Intersection due to the strike”, he said adding that they were forced to take the decision to stop the bus service. Md Firoz, bus driver of Hilsha Paribahan, said the bus communication between Barishal and Dhaka will remain suspended on Friday and Saturday. Mentionable, Faridpur district bus workers and owners went on a 38-hour strike Friday morning amid BNP’s allegation that it was planned to thwart their rally, causing suffering to commuters.
Faridpur district bus workers and owners have said they will go on a 38-hour long strike from November 11 if their 'demands' are not met - the fifth iteration of a playbook the public knows all too well by now. It almost goes without saying that the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party's next divisional rally - the sixth since October 12 - is set to be held in Faridpur next Saturday, November 12. Although if the previous five are any indication, it might take up the entire weekend. A letter signed by Golam Nasir, general secretary of the district's owners and workers' joint council, was sent to Dhaka Divisional Commissioner seeking ban on movement of illegal three-wheelers and battery-driven autorickshaws on highways by November 10. Otherwise, they said they would embark on the strike from 6am on November 11 to 8pm on November 12. Evidently the Faridpur transport sector stakeholders have studied the trends from the previous rallies, and noted that 8pm on the day of the rally (Saturday) is a good time to resume services, instead of losing even more business and customers. None of the associations that have been engaged in this till now - representing the owners, workers of Mymensingh, Khulna, Barishal and Rangpur - was able to successfully pre-announce such an early resumption of services, which would be right as the BNP rally is scheduled to end, or may be expected to end. During the strike, no regional, long haul buses or mini buses will leave Faridpur district bus terminal, they said. Read more: BNP’s Sylhet divisional rally on Nov 19 instead of 20 Meanwhile, Abdul Hakim, general secretary of Faridpur Mahendra (three-wheeler) workers' association told UNB that their vehicles do not even ply all over highways, rather they use only the portion they need to enter the feeder roads. “Why are bus owners suddenly making this demand to suspend three-wheelers? We don’t understand. We are poor people and don’t get their politics behind their demand,” he said. Md Milon Bepari, general secretary of the Faridpur district microbus workers' association, said they haven't received any notice of any strike. As of now, they plan to stay on the road both November 11 and 12, campaigning hard somewhere or the other. Shama Obayed, BNP central committee member and coordinator of the Faridpur rally, said they knew from earlier experiences that such strikes would be coming alright. It's coming big-time. be announced and made preparations accordingly. “People will join the rally by trawlers, by raft or even on foot from miles away, if needed,” Shama assured journalists, sounding as confident as one can feel. Read more: Quader promises to finish BNP's movement in December
Commuters were hit hard after all modes of transportation went off the streets in Barishal on Friday, just a day before a divisional rally called by opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Barishal city has virtually been cut off from rest of the country after the two-day transport strike got underway on Friday. Buses, launches, speedboats, microbuses and even the three-wheeler auto-rickshaws are unavailable. While the bus owners called the strike to demand a ban on the movement of auto-rickshaws on the highways, the three-wheelers want the authorities to allow them free movement there. Also read: BNP activists arriving two days early to join Barishal rally A transport strike before BNP’s anti-government divisional rallies has recently been common. Such strikes were called ahead of opposition party’s rallies in Khulna, Mymensingh and Rangpur. BNP’s Barishal divisional rally has been called to protest against hike in fuel and essential commodities and to press home the party’s other demands including restoration of the constitutional provision of holding general election under a neutral caretaker government. The government has denied any link with the transport strikes coinciding BNP’s rallies.