Professor Anu Muhammad, Department of Economics, Jahangirnagar University :
The leaders of the transport worker unions are ministers – something that is absolutely against the law. How can a minister be the leader of a worker organization? The transport workers are being instigated against the students peacefully protesting for safe roads. It is obvious that the labor organizations under ministers have never raised voices for labor rights.
Transport workers organizations have never fought for fair wages for workers, health and education for their children, working hours, vacations and housing; rather, they were busy in occupying terminals, extorting crores of taka, drug trafficking, fighting and controlling their competitors. No voice has ever been raised to improve the skills of transport workers, nor for their training. This shows that transport workers are used by mafias to run their illegal practices.
Students are protesting for safe roads. They are working towards it. That’s why the roads are now efficient. The students are even repairing roads. The problem arose when the mafia organizations called their own strike. It is my belief that the students will be able to clean the roads, stand firm against corruption-injustices that is rife in the system. If they can stop minister and police vehicles to check licenses, they can also be brave enough to stand against the worker strike. However, I think that right now, it is important for students and workers to unite and work together. It is very important. If this becomes possible, Bangladesh can be saved from these Mafia organizations.
Based on an interview by Ashiq Rahman, translated by Abrar Hussain
Nayeemul Islam khan
ENA SHAKUR'S EMARAT 19/3 Bir Uttam Qazi Nuruzzaman Sarak. West Panthapath (Beside Square Hospital)Dhaka.