The Bombay High Court today asked Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the largest civic body in Maharashtra, to pay Diwali bonus to over 40,000 employees who had gone on a two-day strike paralysing essential services in September 2011.
The direction was given by Justice Anoop Mohta on a petition filed by the civic body challenging an order of Industrial Tribunal which had asked BMC to pay the bonus to its employees who had struck work last year. The High Court today directed the civic body to pay bonus to the employees within six weeks. The amount of bonus works out to Rs 50 crore approximately, the petition said.
On September 19 and September 20, 2011, BMC employees had gone on strike to protest against non-implementation of Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. The call for the strike was given by Municipal Mazdoor Union, Municipal Engineers' Union and Municipal Karmachari Kamgaar Sena.
The municipal employees went on strike despite an industrial tribunal's ruling on September 17 prohibiting them from striking work. Subsequently, BMC decided not to pay Diwali bonus to the employees who had struck work. Being aggrieved, the unions moved the Industrial Tribunal which, on April 17, 2012, asked the civic body to pay the bonus.
Municipal Mazdoor union, led by Sharad Rao, contended before the High Court that the strike was not illegal and that it was an expression of workers which is their constitutional right. The court agreed with the submission and directed the BMC to pay Rs 11,000 Diwali bonus to every worker along with interest of 12 per cent.