Petrol pump and tank-lorry owners and workers threatened to go on an indefinite strike from the first week of October if the government ‘fails’ to resolve their problems by the time.
“We have made the final appeal to the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) chairman through a letter, dated September 4, to address our problems through discussions by a week," Nazmul Haque, convenor of Bangladesh Petrol Pump and Tank-Lorry Owners-Workers Unity Council said, reports UNB on Saturday.
Nazmul Haque said the copy of the letter, which was given to the BPC chairman, was also sent to the State Minister for Power and Energy and the secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division.
"This is our final notice to the government before going on a non-stop strike across the country," he said.
There is no response from the government yet though over 10 days have elapsed since the letter was sent. “So, the Unity Council will announce its action programme this week to launch a non-stop strike from the first week of October,” Nazmul Haque.
"Actually, we are taking time just because of Eid vacation. We don't want to create any hazard for the mass people by enforcing a strike right now,” he said.
The Unity Council, formed recently by the owners and workers of petrol pumps and tank-lorries, earlier observed a 9-hour strike on August 28 to press home their 12-point demand.
The demands include cancellation of new 'abnormal' land lease charge imposed by the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) for petrol pumps, re-fixation of commissions on the sale of petroleum, increasing the tank-lorry fares, introducing Tk 500,000 accident-insurance coverage for tank-lorry workers, re-fixation of evaporation and operation loss at reasonable level.
The demands also include giving priority to tank-lorries at the ferry terminals, banning the sale of petroleum fuel by private refiners to petrol pumps to check the fuel adulteration or allowing them under necessary legal framework.
Construction of new terminals for tank-lories in new locations and renovation of old terminals, reviewing the existing policy for petrol pump set-up, and stopping police harassment on tank-lorry operation are also among the 12 demands. –RH