BEST strike enters 4th day – employees in no mood to back off
Even as the ongoing strike by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) employees demanding a better pay enters the fourth day today and as talks between staff and the management has failed, employees are in no mood to back off
As per Shashank Rao, President of BEST Workers’ union, they are firm on their demand, adding that they want a written assurance from the BEST management that the issues of the employees raised will be heard and discussed.
BEST officials informed that out of the 2,058 buses scheduled to run at 7:00 am, none left from the 27 bus depots across the city. They added that four bus drivers out of 2,513 and one conductor out of 2,593 reported working on 7:00 am on Thursday.
In view of the BEST strike, the Central Railway will continue to run additional trains. On Wednesday, BEST management served notices to 300 employees under the Maharashtra Essential Services and Maintenance (MESMA) Act 2012, a first since 2007.
Along with this, the management also served eviction notices to 2,000 other employees residing in BEST’s Bhoiwada and Parel quarters, which saw families stopping officials from entering the premises.
BEST Sanyukta Kamgar Kruti Samiti (BSKKS), a joint action committee of labour unions that is leading the strike is demanding higher grade pay for employees recruited from 2007, a bonus equivalent to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) staff, a merger of BEST budget with the that of BMC’s. The unions are also strongly against the management’s decision to get new buses on a lease.
Sanjay M Bhaire
(The author is Editor-In-Chief, Across State-Across Mumbai N ews)
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