Strike cripples Barapukuria coal mine

Miners demanding better wages and regularisation of their jobs have started an indefinite strike, crippling operations at Barapukuria coal mine in the district.

Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) officials said that over 1,000 miners abstained from working from 6am on Tuesday, suspending production.

Workers of the mine have long been demanding better wages and regularisation of their jobs.

Barapukuria Coal Mine Miners’ and Workers’ Union general secretary Shariful Haque Matin told that they called the strike as the mine authorities and Chinese contractor firm XMC had broken their promise several times to regularise their jobs.

“The agreement with the Chinese firm ended on Oct 10 last year. Petrobangla renewed the deal on the following day for six more years but our demands were not addressed in the deal,” he said.

Union president Rabiul Islam said a total of 1,086 workers work directly under XMC while another 226 work under BCMCL. The workers under BCMCL get paid according to the pay-scale, but XMC workers do not get that facility.

“The authorities are not even responding to their reminders to end the discrimination,” he alleged.

BCMCL managing director engineer Mohammad Quamruzzaman told that the wages of the workers have been raised by five percent in the last agreement.

He accused the protesters of preventing other workers including the Chinese ones from working.

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