Labor unrest in Lalmonirhat, hundreds of cargo trucks waiting for release at Burimari land port

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Lalmonirhat Correspondent

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Eati Akter

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Due to discontent among common workers at Burimari land port of Patgram in Lalmonirhat, import and export are again closed.  This deadlock has been going on since last 5 days.  To solve the problem, the investigation committee formed by the district administration held a meeting with the representatives of labor organizations on Sunday, September 17 from afternoon to 7 pm.  Hundreds of cargo vehicles were seen parked across sheds, fields and roads at the land port as load-unload workers stopped work.

On the ground, it was seen that loading and unloading workers are sitting in groups all day long at several places on the highway on the way to Burimari land port.  The demands of the workers will not be taken if the money is given through the Sardars.  Payment must be made through direct labor handling contractor or representative – otherwise goods loading-unloading work will be stopped indefinitely.  Earlier, the workers blocked the highway and went on strike several times to demand the trial and resignation of the labor chiefs on the charges of nepotism and various discriminations including nepotism, not accounting for the deduction of wages, not giving the account of the deduction of wages, and not forming the committee of the labor organization through elections.  On September 12, there was a clash between the workers and the Sardar group over the non-payment of wages to the workers and the giving of work serials to the common workers.  Police fired rubber bullets and tear shells to control the situation.  15 people were injured.  At that time, the workers blocked Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) Nurul Islam for about 6 hours.

A 5-member team signed by Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ullah has been formed in the wake of labor unrest and disruption of land port operations.  The convener of this team is Additional District Magistrate Mahbubur Rahman.  The other members are Lalmonirhat Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police (B-Circle) Farhad Imrul Kayes, Patgram Upazila Nirbahi Officer Nurul Islam, Patgram Police Station Officer-in-Charge Ferdous Wahid, Burimari Land Port Authority Assistant Director (Traffic) Gias Uddin.  The committee held a meeting on Sunday, September 17 from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM with a delegation of 10 general workers and C&F Agent Association President Chayeduzzaman Syed.  Sajjad Hossain, President of Burimari Land Port Branch of Bangladesh Land Port Workers League, led the delegation of workers.

Sources of the meeting said that when it was proposed to do load-unloading and payment of wages through the management, contractors and workers to solve the problem, the workers did not agree to this proposal.  As a result, the meeting ended without any resolution.  Administration sources said that an attempt will be made to solve the problem through such meetings.

Patgram Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Nurul Islam said, “There was a meeting with the constituted committee and workers’ representatives.  We are trying to persuade workers to work loading and unloading goods vehicles.  Hope it will be resolved soon.

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