Army Called In To Deal With Bangladesh Port Strike

Army was called in to deal with striking dock workers who went on a rampage attacking guards and vehicles at Bangladesh’s main port of Chittagong on Wednesday.

Police burst teargas cannisters and fired rubber bullets to disperse the workers. At least 20 people were injured in the clashes.

The strike was in protest against handing over of container and bulk operations to the private-sector which, the workers claim, left 1,500 casual workers jobless.

A spokesman for the Chittagong Port Authority said with deployment of the Army by midnight Wednesday, normal port operation could be resumed by Thursday.

The port handled some 37 million tons of cargo, more than 80 per cent of the country’s external trade, in 2009-10.

About the strike :
Container handling at Chittagong Port came to a halt since Monday night as dockworkers went on work abstention to realise their various demands, including recruitment of the scrutinised workers.

The workers vowed not to join their works until their demands are fulfilled, reports our staff correspondent in Chittagong.

The activities of 12 jetties of General Cargo Berths (GCB) of the port remain halted following the demonstration.

The other demands of the dockworkers include issuing of identity cards among the workers and introduction of labour department under the CPA’s Traffic Department.

The demonstrators said they will not let the newly appointed six berth operators to start work before fulfillment of their demands.

Meanwhile, Berth Operator Owners Association and Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) held a meeting in this regard Tuesday morning.

??General workers of the port want to join work but a section of workers are provoking them,?? said Shahadat Hossain Selim, president of the association.

Echoed the same view, the CPA Chairman Commodore RU Ahmed said they want to start work immediately

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