Transport workers do not want to talk about the strike

Desk Report: Transport strike is going on in eight districts of Rajshahi division. As a result bus workers of Chapainawabganj are spending idle time. These workers who eat day in and day out are struggling to run their families. Yet they are reluctant to talk about the strike.

Going to Chapainawabganj bus terminal, it can be seen that a group of transport workers are passing the time by playing carom. A bus driver named Shariful Islam said, We cannot say anything about the strike. Because we are employees. The family runs the owner’s car. What to tell you, then the owner will be upset. Because before everything we have to think about running the family.

A bus helper on the Dhaka-Rajshahi-Chapainawabganj route, on condition of anonymity, said the strike was called by the Road Transport Owners-Labor Council. But instead of collecting demands, day laborers like us have to think about running the family first.

Rajshahi-Chapainawabganj route bus driver Kalam (pseudonym) said, whose mass gathering? When is the assembly? We are not worried about these things. It is inappropriate for us to talk about it. We just follow the owner’s orders. But hopefully, the strike will be lifted in a very short time. Because if the strike continues like this, it will become difficult to run the family. If the owner association does not stand by us in this difficult time, we will have to sit on the road.

General Secretary of Chapainawabganj District Road Transport Owners Group. Hamidur Rahman Nannu told Dhaka Post over the phone that despite repeated discussions with the government, no solution was found, so the strike was forced to be called. It involves the interests of both the employer and the worker. So both the parties are suffering a bit in this strike.

He also said that the owners’ association stands by the workers in times of danger. Even in the ongoing strike, if any worker is missing or needs assistance, we will stand by him. This was discussed in the Road Transport Owners-Workers Council before the strike was called. We are monitoring the situation.

Incidentally, from Chapainawabganj on an average, about five hundred buses ply on inter-district and country routes. On November 26, 17 organizations in eight districts of Rajshahi gave an ultimatum to the government to fulfill 10-point demands, including the ban on taxis and battery-powered auto-rickshaws on the highway, the amendment of the Road Transport Act 2018, and an end to police harassment. The organizations went on strike from Thursday (December 01) morning as their demands were not met within the stipulated time.

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