Truck owners and workers have called an indefinite strike from Wednesday (Nov 20) to protest a new road transport law meting out harsher punishment for traffic offences.
Bangladesh Truck Covered-Van Goods Transport Owners and Workers Unity Council made the announcement at a media call on Tuesday (Nov 19), after bus drivers and their assistants across the country went on strike from the previous day.
“From Wednesday 6am, an indefinite strike will be enforced across the country in protest of the new Road Transport Act,” said Md Rustam Ali Khan, the Council's convener told the news briefing at the Tejgaon truck depot in the capital.
The group made a nine-point demand, including an amendment to the Road Transport Act, passed in 2018.
In response to a query, Khan said, “We’re not rejecting the law. We want changes to some provisions of the law.”
On Nov 1, the government issued a gazette, stating that the Road Transport Act would be effective from that day. It, however, was implemented two weeks behind schedule due to lack of clarity.
Parliament had passed the law in September last year, replacing the 1983 Motor Vehicle Ordinance. Transport owners and workers have been protesting against the law since it was drafted.
On Monday, Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader said the government will not back off from implementing the new law despite all difficulties.
His comment came in response to a strike called by a section of transport owners and workers in 10 southwestern districts, which on Tuesday has spread across the country.