Transport workers in Sylhet have suspended the strike it commenced on Monday morning in Sylhet.
Abu Sarkar, acting president of the Sylhet divisional committee of the Transport Workers' Federation (TWF), said the strike was called off at around 9:30pm after a meeting with the Sylhet divisional commissioner.
"Based on the assurance of the divisional commissioner, we have decided to suspend the strike till December 5," he said, adding that if their demands are not met within that date, the strike would resume.
The new divisional commissioner of Sylhet Khalilur Rahman had an emergency meeting with the federation leaders on Monday evening.
Earlier on Sunday (21 November) afternoon, at a meeting held at the office of the Sylhet District Bus Minibus Coach Microbus Workers Union in the southern part of the city, TWF called an indefinite transport strike from Monday.
Due to the indefinite transport strike, bus trucks, autorickshaws and other freight transports were seen off-road in the entire Sylhet division since Monday morning. Transport workers also obstructed the movement of private vehicles on different roads of the city. The passengers fell into extreme suffering, especially SSC candidates. Many had to walk to the exam centers.
Transport workers took position on the road at Tetli in the South Surma area of Sylhet-Dhaka highway around 2pm on Monday. During this time many private cars including microbuses got stuck on the road. Transport workers forced people to get out of their cars and walk to their destinations. Many people could be seen walking 8-10 km to reach Sylhet city.
On 9 November, the workers' federation submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner of Sylhet. However, no measures were taken to address the demands, so the transport workers have opted for a strike, added Zakaria.
The five-point demands include properly holding the triennial election of Sylhet's District Auto-tempo and Auto-rickshaw Workers Federation, dissolving the committee that was "elected uncontested", returning nomination fees and withdrawal of deputy director of Sylhet Regional Labour Department, dropping cases against district bus and minibus transport workers, stopping police "harassment" on highways, no toll on bridges whose toll collection period is up, and arranging parking for lighter vehicles like microbuses, human haulers and auto-rickshaws at different places including Chouhatta.