Workers and drivers of BRTC bus depot at Joar Sahara called off their strike this noon on an assurance by the authorities that their arrears will be paid in full by August this year.
The protesters called off their strike around 11:45am after a “fruitful” meeting with the BRTC authorities, Nur-E-Alom, depot manager of the BRTC depot told The Daily Star.
The workers were assured they would receive one month’s arrear today and another month’s arrear within this month and in this manner they would receive a total of nine months’ arrear by August, Nur-E-Alom said.
Earlier, the workers resumed their strike this morning for the second consecutive.
WHY DID THE BRTC WORKERS GO ON A STRIKE?
The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation has 21 depots across the country -- 19 for buses and two for trucks. Of them, workers' salaries are due in 17, depots sources said yesterday.
Some 3,500 BRTC employees, including drivers, get salaries and other benefits like that of a government employee. But under the current system, the salaries and benefits of a depot employee has to be paid from the earnings of that particular depot.
The lion's share of the depots' earnings comes from leasing out buses to private entities and organisations, including educational institutions. The depots provide the drivers, the fuel, and look after vehicle maintenance.
High officials of the BRTC said the depots have been struggling to pay the employees after the government implemented a new pay scale in 2016.
Workers, however, claimed that corruption of some BRTC officials, including those running the deports, was to blame for their sufferings.