Goods-laden vehicle owners, workers threaten strike

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:54, Sep 29,2020


Goods-laden vehicle owners and workers have threatened to enforce a countrywide 48-hour strike from October 12 to press home their nine-point demands.

They took the decision mostly protesting at a mobile court conducted by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority on August 26 at Gabtoli Beribadh in Dhaka.

The court removed some trucks from the area and put some other trucks in an auction.

Bangladesh Truck-Covered Van Owners and Workers’ Coordination Council on September 20 sent letters to different ministries, including road transport and bridges, shipping, home and labour and employment to inform them their decision. 

The council comprises the owners and workers of all goods-laden vehicles, including trucks, covered vans, tank-lorries, prime movers and pick up vans. 

In the letter, the council members alleged that on August 26 BIWTA joint director for port AKM Arif Uddin vandalised 17 trucks and drum trucks at Gabtoli Beribadh area and auctioned four trucks with goods without any notice.

Following the incident, the council decided to observe a strike from October 12 to October 14 if their demands were not met, it said.

Their nine-point demands include compensations to the affected truck owners by BIWTA, punishment of BIWTA joint director for port AKM Arif Uddin and the executive magistrate, truck terminals and resting places for truck drivers at different spots, end of filing cases under  section 302 without investigation, incorporation of the recommendations of transport owners and workers’ associations in the new Road Transport Act 2018, fasten the driving licences issuance process, withdrawal of income tax on vehicles, end of extortion on roads and operation of ferry ghat and terminals by BIWTA management.

Arif Uddin told New Age that they had conducted the mobile court at Gabtoli Beribadh area on the bank of river Turag following a 2016 High Court order. 

He said that an illegal truck stand was established inside the boundary wall on the river bank.

The government imposed a ban on earth filling and construction activities on the foreshores of four rivers passing by the capital on November 13, 2016, four days after a High Court order.

The ban, however, was ignored largely.

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