BEST employees threaten to go on strike August 6 onwards

In response to lack of implementation of the promises made by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), the BEST Workers Union has decided to go on an indefinite strike

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The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) employees have threatened to go an indefinite strike August 6 onwards after their demands were left unfulfilled. The strike has been backed by the BEST Workers Union who has offered their charter of six demands to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) along with BEST Undertaking and eight other civic bodies.

If the strike comes to effect then it is sure to remind the commuters, the nightmare they faced early this year for nine days in January as the bus corporation was shut down. The strike could also affect BEST's positive image which was built after they reduced their fare prices to a bare minimum of ₹5.

The BEST Workers Union had written a letter to the authorities stating that if the wage agreement talks are not resumed, the workers will repeat the strike which was called earlier this year.

BEST Workers' Union, General Secretary, Shashank Rao said that they had signed an MoU on June 11 with the BMC after they were promised negotiations on wage agreement which expired in March 2016. He added despite numerous reminders for the same, there has been no response to the letters and accordingly, they have decided to go on an indefinite strike.

The BEST officials have stated that this could affect the corporation's positive image as, since the past 10 days, the passengers have begun flocking back to BEST buses after the fare prices were slashed. More than 40 lakh passengers have travelled through BEST buses in the last week or so.

Demands

  • Immediate implementation of the resolution to merge BEST Corporation's 'C' budget with BMC's 'A' budget
  • Employees appointed after April 2007 should get 10 point hike in salaries and wages
  • Higher grade pay of ₹7,930 for around 14,000 junior grade employees appointed between 2007 to 2016.
  • Pay the bonus from FY 2016/17 to FY 2017/18 similar to BMC employees 
  • The staff service accommodation question should be resolved promptly
  • Begin Compassionate Ground Appointment on an immediate basis
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