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Trade resumes as truck, covered van owners and workers call off strike

  • Published at 04:40 pm September 22nd, 2021
ctg port traffic
Dhaka Tribune

The strike was called off after a meeting with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan at the Secretariat

Bangladesh Truck-Covered Van Owners’ Association and Bangladesh Truck Driver Workers’ Federation have called off their 72-hour nationwide strike meant to press home their 15-point demand.

The strike was called off after a meeting with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan at the Secretariat on Wednesday.

Bangladesh Truck Driver Workers’ Federation President Talukder Md Monir told the media that the strike was called off after reassurances of implementations of their demands from the government.

And with that the transportation of goods to and from the Chittagong and Benapole ports resumed from around 4pm, causing heavy traffic to form in and around the port areas.

“Around 1,000 goods-laden vehicles struck inside the Chittagong port began their departure one by one as more vehicles entered the port to load and unload goods,” said Chittagong Port Authority Director (Transport) Enamul Karim.

All kinds of work including loading and unloading of goods from containers as well as transporting of goods from the inland container depot and factories at Chittagong remained suspended from Tuesday morning when the strike began.

The news of the strike’s withdrawal brought relief among port users including importers, garment exporters, C&F agents, shipping agents, berth operators. 

Meanwhile, the strike led to massive tailback at the Benapole port as the trucks could not unload products or leave the port till Wednesday, confirmed Benapole Transport Owners Association.

According to Importers-Exporters Association President Aminul Huq, over 500 trucks laden with goods were stuck at the port.

Benapole Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association chief Mofizur Rahman said that the trucks were parked on the streets leading to traffic congestion due to the strike.

On Tuesday, Zafar Alam, general secretary of Bangladesh Truck-Covered Van Owners’ Association, said the strike was called as the authorities concerned were not complying with the demands of transport owners and drivers.

The demands include stopping the collection of advance income tax from trucks and covered vans and refunding of advance income tax collected so far.

Transportation owners and workers also demanded that police stop harassing them for bribes.