The agitating employees of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Monday called for a non-stop strike from Tuesday as their demands had not been met, according to Moshiqur Rahman, president of the Biman Sramik League.
The announcement comes following a day-long sit-in protest by Biman Sramik League, an association of Biman employees, that had paralysed the Biman head office for the day.
“We did not want to launch the agitation. We have informed all except the Prime Minister about our demands. Our demands were not met and even the direction of the Civil Aviation Minister was not honoured. We are pushed to the wall,” said Rahman.
The strike will begin from 6am on Tuesday.
If enforced, the strike threatens to stop ground handling at Shahjalal International Airport, which may render the airport inoperative for other airlines as well.
The announcement came soon after the agitating employees threatened to continue their agitation until it was assured in writing that their demands would be realised.
Biman’s Director (Admin) Rajpoty Sarker was leading the team that entered the Biman head office around 4pm for negotiation with the agitating employees. He was accompanied by Biman General Manager (Admin) Atik Sobhan and his deputy Capt. Shamim Nazrul.
But the negotiations failed.
The headquarters at Balaka Bhaban remained virtually besieged since 9am, with the association staging a sit-in protest in front of it to back up its seven demands that includes withdrawal of allegations made against its President.
The other demands of the association include providing allowances for meal and uniforms, implementation of organisation setup brought in from India and the employees’ personal TP, 100 percent medical allowance and regularising those who have been working for or more than five years at Biman.
Biman officials were prevented from entering the office by the protesters.
On Sunday, the Biman’s Acting Managing Director Mosaddeque Ahmed was confined in his office for 11 hours after he did not agree to accept the demands of the protesting employees.
Ahmed was released after police intervened in the early hours of Monday.
The association has intensified its protests after their dialogue with the Managing Director failed to yield any result on Sunday.
“We had long been agitating for our six points. The Biman (Civil Aviation) Minister directed authorities to accept four of our demands in March (last year). But they (the authorities) ordered departmental action and served me with show cause notice instead of accepting the demands,” said the association’s President Moshiqur Rahman.
According to him, Managing Director Ahmed has refused to accept the demands of his association during the meeting on Sunday.
“So we are here in this sit-in protest to realise our demands,” said Rahman.
Earlier in the day, Rahman had said they would have no other alternative but to enforce a non-stop strike from Tuesday if their demands were not met by 5pm today.
Employees of the national flag carrier loudly protested against their erstwhile Chairman Jamal Uddin in March last year with “human chains” and rallies, that was followed by an indefinite strike.
The strike was withdrawn after the Civil Aviation Minister assured the protesters of meeting their demands. (bdnews24.com)