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Hired drivers for GP go on strike for pay PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 31 March 2008

Staff Correspondent

Some 800 hired drivers for Grameenphone staged a five-hour sit-in Sunday in front of the mobile operator's head office in Gulshan, demanding confirmation of their services and pay hikes.

Gulshan police chief Obaidul Haque told, "The drivers were observing the sit-in since morning." Driver Golam Jilani, who is on the payroll of another company, told, "We have been driving GP vehicles for 10 years, but we are not GP staffers.

We are trapped by middlemen." GP, the country's largest mobile operator, provides $300 a month for a driver, but he is given Tk 6,384 (less than $100) by the employer, Jilani said. "We were not given any appointment letter. The employer company fires us whenever it wishes," he said.

"GP has its own vehicles but it does not have drivers. We have been driving the company's vehicles for long. We want permanent jobs in the company now. We don't want to be trapped by the middlemen," Jilani added. Another driver, Md Rafique, said: "We are supposed to work eight hours. But we have to work 10 hours.

GP's high officials are not aware of the matter that we are not paid overtime allowances for the extra two hours." The drivers held a meeting with GP officials who Rafique said sought time until Tuesday for a solution.

Later in the day, the drivers went back to work Syed Yamin Bakht, general manager of GP's information department, told by phone: "We have spoken to the hired drivers. They have resumed their work."

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