It seems over 36,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking are in no mood to call off their strike under the banner of Kruti Samiti, an association of BEST unions, scheduled to start from midnight. Reason: the administration is yet to give them in writing that they would receive their salaries by the 10th of every month. Though Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar has given them a verbal assurance, the workers are far from being convinced. As a result, over 35 lakh commuters are likely to face problems on Monday.
According to sources, for the past five months, the BEST employees have been receiving their salaries by the 22nd of every month. This has led to a lot of unrest among the employees.
Further, in order to solve the problem, a meeting on the issue was held between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Mayor Mahadeshwar, civic chief Ajoy Mehta and general manager of BEST. During the discussion, the BEST administration assured the Mayor that the salaries would be disbursed by the 10th of every month. "We have spoken to the administration and they have assured that the BEST employees would receive their earnings by 10th of every month. Hence, we want the unions to call off the strike."
In the meantime, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray called a meeting on Sunday night and requested the administration to give a written assurance, but sources said that nothing of that sort happened. He would meet the union leaders on Monday. State government has issued a circular stating that private buses, school buses and buses of certain companies can be used for public transport during the strike. Besides, MSRTC will also run buses. However, union leader Shashank Rao said that they had no faith in the civic chief. "Unless we are given a written assurance, we will not consider calling off the strike."
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