BEST strike remains; Bombay HC to hear matter on January 16

The BEST administration informed the court that it is open to implementing the 10-step increment to employees

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As BEST workers strike has entered the eighth day, Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the BEST workers union for its final decision to withdraw the same. The HC will hear the matter on Wednesday around 11:00 in the morning.

In a new development, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) administration informed the court that it is open to provide pay rise to its workers, under the 10-step increment measure, effective from February 2019. This was suggested by the high-level committee appointed by Maharashtra government to resolve the issue.

The petition filed against BEST strike was being heard by a division bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar. The BEST counsel informed the high court that the offer of increment stands if the strike is called-off on Tuesday evening.

Earlier, the HC had asked the BEST workers union to negotiate appropriately and consider the plight of the commuters. However, the BEST union said that they were forced to be on the strike as their demands were not being heard by the administration.

Almost 32,000 BEST employees are on strike since January 7 midnight and 3,700 buses are absent from the roads. This has caused trouble for the daily 25 lakh commuters in the city.

Earlier, Maharashtra government issued Maharashtra Essential Service Management Act (MESMA) against the BEST employees on 300 employees while it ordered 2,000 workers to empty their houses.

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