Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader says the government is considering the restart of mass transport services before Eid and urged workers and owners to remain patient instead of protesting.
“I call upon transport workers and owners to have patience, instead of protesting and causing unrest,” Quader said at a news conference in Dhaka on Saturday.
“The government is contemplating reopening mass transport services ahead of Eid following the lockdown while considering the needs of the people.”
The Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation held a press conference at the National Press Club on Friday to demand mass transport be allowed to restart and calling for a nationwide protest.
“The government has already eased the lockdown restrictions on stores and shopping malls by taking into account Ramadan, Eid and the needs of working people,” Quader said.
Quader also spoke on the topic of May Day and said: “The world is observing International Workers’ Day. Today is the day we commemorate the struggle, the solidarity, the perseverance and the blood spilt for workers to gain their rights.”
“It was on Jun 22, 1972 that we, under the leadership of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, became a member of the International Labour Organization. That same day Bangladesh ratified 29 conventions of the ILO, an uncommon event.”
“In an effort to create a society free of exploitation, the Bangabandhu government, on Sept 27, 1972, announced its first labour policy, which stressed improved relations between owners and workers, industrial stability, increased productivity and greater protections and welfare for working people.”
Quader said the government was also urging factories to fulfil their obligations regarding back pay. “We are requesting the owners to pay the workers any back pay before Eid.”