Strike Enters Day 2
Local miners confine 760 over pay hike
Local miners confined 760 people, including 370 staff, to Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) complex yesterday, the second day of their strike, to realise their demand for pay hikes.
Some 220 Chinese officials and staffs of two contractor companies--CMC and XMC--are among the victims of confinement.
The coal production and sale remained suspended for the second consecutive day, said BCMCL official sources.
The agitating miners with the help of villagers encircled the BCMCL complex with sticks from outside and resisted any movement of its officials and staffs. But the staffs were maintaining external contacts over phones, sources said.
Around 1,100 miners again went on the indefinite strike from Monday midnight demanding implementation of the 2008 tripartite agreement signed among the miners, BCMCL and CMC and XMC.
The deal recommends 8 percent salary increase of the miners each February but it did not happen accordingly last February, the miners said.
Energy Adviser to the Prime Minister Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury told The Daily Star that State Minister for Mineral Resources Enamul Haq and State Minister for Land Mostafizur Rahman Fizar would visit the mine area today to deal with the issue.
He also said the government is discussing the matter with Chinese embassy in Dhaka to resolve the crisis.
Food stocks in BCMCL complex have run out due to the indefinite strike, sources said.
“We are seeking help from Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to prevent any humanitarian disaster as our food stocks are being depleted quickly,” said Habib Uddin Ahmed, DGM (underground operation) and also president of Barapukuria Coal Mine Officers' Welfare Association.
Sources said food stocks for the Chinese officials and staffs would become zero today and the food for BCMCL staffs was supposed to become zero yesterday.
Some 220 Chinese officials and employees and 150 BCMCL staffs along with their family members were staying in the complex.
A BCMCL official said, “Our family members can not go outside of the complex to buy essentials. Even a pregnant woman was not allowed to visit doctors while children to their schools. So, we feel totally insecure at BCMCL complex.”
He said BCMCL, a wholly owned coal-mining subsidiary of Petrobangla, is not responsible for the pay of native miners as two contracted companies CMC and XMC had employed them.
While contacted, Md Abdul Jalil, deputy commissioner of the district, said steps have been taken to supply foods to the BCMCL complex.
An official of BCMCL managed to come out of the complex on Tuesday night and filed a case against the agitating miners with Parbatipur Police Station.
On the same day, General Secretary of Barapukuria Coal Mine Workers' Union Nur Islam filed a case with the police accusing Rafiqul Alam, a driver of the company, of hitting miners by his pick-up van.
The miners beat up Moyeed Uddin, a security guard, and Kamruzzaman, an electrician, yesterday when they tried to go outside of the complex. They were admitted to Parbatipur Health Complex.
An hour long tripartite meeting among BCMCL, XMC and agitating miners ended at XMC office at 4:30 pm yesterday without any outcome as XMC did not meet the demand.
Meer Abdul Motin GM (mining) of BCMCL, U Ba Hua of XMC and Zahedul Islam Ratan of mine workers' union were present.
Sujayet Islam, acting SP of the district, said the situation is under control though some isolated incidents happened there.