Traffic came to a near standstill in some areas of the capital after several hundred garment workers blocked Mirpur Road in Shyamoli yesterday morning.
Around 800 workers of a factory kept the road blocked for over two hours from around 9:50am, demanding increment, maternal leave and better working conditions.
People were subjected to particularly long tailbacks on streets where construction work of the metro rail is going on.
The rush hour traffic created a tailback that reached as far as Aminbazar. There were gridlocks on streets connected to Mirpur Road in New Market, Dhanmondi, Pantha Path, Bangla Motor, Farmgate, Manik Mia Avenue, and Bioy Sarani.
Parents taking children to school and people going to work suffered the most.
Russel Bapari, driver of a bus of New Vision Private Ltd, said it took him five-and-a-half-hour to reach Mirpur zoo from Motijheel via Shyamoli. He left Motijheel around 9:30am.
It usually it takes him one and a half hours to make the trip, he said.
“I will have to lose at least Tk 2,500 today for missing three trips,” he told The Daily Star, adding that regularly made eight trips a day.
As his bus remained stuck, frustrated passengers got down and started their journey on foot.
On Manik Miah Avenue, parents with school children were seen struggling to find a ride to their destination.
A few rickshaws were there, but many of the pullers were not interested in taking passengers even after they were offered higher fares.
“This is a godforsaken city. There are gridlocks in every alley in Rajabazar, Monipuripara, and Indira Road,” said a man walking in Khamarbari area with his son.
A young man named Imran said he missed a job interview while being stuck in traffic. He could not reach Paltan from Khilkhet on time.
Saad, an architect, said had missed a meeting with a potential client. His meeting was at 11:00am in Motijheel. He left Mohammadpur around 9:30am by bus, but it was 11:45am when he reached Shahbagh through Farmgate.
The agitated workers left the road after the owners assured them of meeting their demands, said Abdul Latif, officer-in-charge of Mohammadpur Police Station.
Police, representatives of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and garment workers federation leaders were present when the factory management made the promises.