Transport strike continues
Transport strike continues Transport owners and workers have no clear answer to the question as to whether the strike is ending on Tuesday.
Road Transport Owners' Association General Secretary Khandaker Enayetullah has said he sees no hope of the situation getting any better as the workers are still agitated.
Workers' leaders have also tried to evade the liability, saying the general workers are demonstrating.
"The workers cannot be calmed," Road Transport Workers' Federation Vice-President Abdul Odud Nayan has said.
To make matters worse, the road transport ministry is not willing to discuss the issue with the strikers because it relates to court.
The travellers suffered as the strike spread across the country from Khulna and Chuadanga on Tuesday morning.
The bus workers in the capital also stopped services in the afternoon, leaving hundreds of thousands struggling to return home.
The roads linking the districts are virtually of no use. The agitated workers are not letting any vehicle on some of the roads.
The workers took to the streets when a Manikganj court sentenced a bus driver to life in prison for a 2011 accident that left celebrated filmmaker Tareque Masud, ATN News CEO Mishuk Munier and three others dead.
Transport workers in Chuadanga first launched a strike. Those in 10 districts of Khulna division joined them on Sunday.
The authorities sat with the striking workers in Khulna on Sunday and announced that the workers agreed to withdraw the strike.
But later the workers, agitated by another verdict sentencing a truck driver to death for running over and killing a woman in Savar, denied any such agreement on withdrawing the strike action.
Earlier on Monday night, the transport owners held a meeting with the workers in Dhaka, but no announcement of enforcing the strike came.
Asked about the latest developments, transport owners' leader Enayetullah told bdnews24.com on Tuesday afternoon that he sees no possibilities of an end to the workers' strike.
"We've asked the workers' leaders to sit and review the situation. But it appears to me that there will be no outcome today (Tuesday)," he said.
Asked who will sit and where, Enayetullah said, "Four to five of us will sit informally."
He expressed willingness to discuss the issue with the government.
Road Transport and Highways Secretary MAN Siddique said, "As the workers have enforced the strike against court verdicts, we have nothing to do about it. We won't talk to anyone on the matter. We are not communicating with anyone."
Workers' leader Odud said the leaders had no involvement in the strike.
The government is asking the transport workers on a strike to protest against the sentencing of drivers to respect court judgment amidst daylong sufferings of travellers, but there is no sign of let-up.
"They (workers) did not discuss the issue with us before enforcing the strike. They have become sentimental after seeing two verdicts go against them. They cannot be controlled now. They are not listening to the leaders," he said.
"We requested them to resume services. But they are not listening to us. 'You drive the vehicles, but don't tell us,' they have said," he added.