The main religious festival of the Muslims, Eid-ul-Fitr, has more or less festival allowances for all classes of workers, but the transport workers of the country are being deprived. They do not get bonus or festival allowance as there is no fixed monthly salary. According to the daily wage or trip agreement, the staff of the vehicle including the driver of the transport gets paid throughout the year. The owners are accustomed to pay that way. However, no festival allowance is given for their Eid or Puja. Bonus or festival allowance means asking from the bus passengers. This has been known by talking to the leaders and workers of the transport workers’ organization.
Sources said that instead of the structural wages of transport workers, the owners of public transport handed over buses, human haulers, tempos, autorickshaws, etc. to the drivers on daily lease basis. In Bangladesh, a driver engages in unprecedented competition in managing public transport in the midst of hundreds of adversities on the road as well as in earning day-to-day owner’s lease, daily fuel and ancillary costs, driver’s own and helper’s salary. This created anarchy and chaos in transport.
According to the transport workers and drivers, the existing labor law and the transport law have provided for the payment of wages in several grades for the transport workers but it could not be implemented. There is talk of a transport worker working 8 hours a day. If there is more than this, there is a provision to give overtime.
According to the grade, the monthly salary of a driver is 20,600 rupees. But the workers and drivers get paid according to the trip. BRTA (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority) is a government body that regulates transportation but is a largely indifferent body.
The drivers and workers on duty in long distance buses get paid on trip basis. There is no chance of bonus.
Asked about this, Transport Workers League leader Hanif Khokon said, “Transport owners are not accustomed to monthly salaries.” They pay on a trip basis. The workers are forced to work that way. He said that to get the route permit of the vehicle, one has to submit a copy of the driver’s license along with all the documents that have to be submitted to the BRTA.
The transport owners also provide a copy of the driver’s license along with all the necessary documents. But the transport owner knows where the driver is driving, BRTA knows and Allah knows! We do not know. On the other hand, according to the existing labor law, there is a provision to give appointment letters to transport drivers and workers. This provision could not be implemented.
Hanif Khokon added, “Transport workers and drivers have no monthly salary. They are paid according to the trip. They are not given any bonus. The bonus is that you collect 10-20 rupees from the passengers.
In this regard, Khandaker Enayet Ullah, General Secretary of Dhaka Transport Owners Association said, “Transport workers do not have salary-bonus arrears. The owners pay it before Eid. There is no problem with this.
In response to a question, Khandaker Enayet Ullah said, “The driver who submits the documents for route permit in BRTA, then he goes elsewhere with his job – that’s right.” He can no longer be found.
Regarding the leave of transport workers, Khandaker Enayet Ullah said, there is no problem with the leave of workers working in the transport sector. Because there are two drivers and one helper for each vehicle. The next day one works and the other works, that is the rule. Since the car is not stopped, it has to go on like this. ‘
Meanwhile, Sohag Paribahan driver Rustum Ali (pseudonym) said, ‘I have been driving for 26 years. Never received a monthly salary. Owners do not want to hire a driver for a monthly salary. Because if the driver or worker is kept in the monthly salary, they have to pay other benefits as per the law. The owners are not willing to pay. According to Trip, taking advantage of their salary. When I came with the trip, I got out of the car with the salary as per the agreement. The responsibility of the owners also ends. There is no question of bonus or source allowance.
On the other hand, Bangladesh Passengers Welfare Association has demanded that all road workers be paid one month’s full salary including Eid bonus within 15 Ramadan. The organization’s secretary general Mozammel Haque Chowdhury made the demand in a statement sent to the media.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
At the same time, he urged transport owners and the government to hire unemployed transport workers in the coronavirus epidemic and give them the right to survive after a minimum wage by fixing structural wages against working hours or daily wages.
In the statement, Mozammel Haque Chowdhury said, “Instead of structural wages of transport workers, the owners of public transport hand over buses, human haulers, tempos, autorickshaws etc. to the drivers on daily lease basis. In our country, a driver engages in unprecedented competition in managing public transport in the face of hundreds of obstacles on the road, as well as in day-to-day owner’s lease, daily fuel and ancillary costs, driver’s own and helper’s salary.