Sunday, 24 October, 2021

No to strike for economy's sake

No to strike for economy's sake

We learnt from a report of this newspaper that workers of goods-laden vehicles have gone on a wildcat strike countrywide to press home their 15 points demands, including issuing of driving licences on easy conditions and stopping of extortion on highways. As a consequence, covered vans and trucks stopped entering Chattogram port since Tuesday to drop the export containers and take delivery of import containers. Because of the strike, loading and unloading as well as delivery of containers from the port came to a halt.

The supply chain of export and import goods as well as essential commodities was affected due to the work stoppage of transport workers. The incident raised a great concern among the country's business leaders, importers, clearing and forwarding agents, shipping agents and port users alike. It is worth-mentioning that the strike has adversely impacted the apparel sector which accounts for over 80 percent of the country's annual exports. As to why, the BGMEA leaders expressed their concern over the unrest.

The transport sector has backward and forward linkages with other sectors of the economy. A strike in the transport sector can be disruptive for other interdependent sectors of the economy. Because of the abnormal situation, movement of essential commodities was affected throughout the country. As per version of the transport leaders, police often harass their workers demanding bribes in every step of their journey. However, not only police, transport workers have to pay bribes to the musclemen of local influential quarters and some other goons on the way. The foul play results in frequent price spiral of necessary commodities in the market.

Ultimately, it is the consumers who have to bear the brunt of such corrupt practices. So, the administration should come forward to protect the consumers by ensuring their just rights. Prolonging of the transport strike is not at all desirable.  However, we came to know that the transport strike has finally been withdrawn. We are happy that at last good sense prevailed and brought an end to the crisis. Despite the development, the fact remains that any disruption in the transportation system causes irreparable loss to the national economy. We expect that such strikes would be avoided in future for the greater interest of the nation.