Mumbai: BEST readies itself for strike, trade unions to decide in Aug 23 vote

Updated: Aug 20, 2019, 21:09 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

BEST employees had threatened to go on an indefinite strike from the midnight of August 6 to press of signing new wage agreements

Mumbai: BEST readies itself for strike, trade unions to decide in Aug 23 vote
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The BEST strike that was set to happen from midnight of August 20, has now been postponed to August 23 when a vote will be taken of all employees. The BEST Undertaking earlier in the day issued instructions of strict action under the Essential Services Act if employees stayed away from work.

"We organised a large meeting of all the employees on Tuesday evening and have now come to a decision that the strike will be decided by a vote. On August 23, we will go to vote and if there is a mandate, the strike will be started immediately," Mumbai BEST Workers' union leader Shashank Sharad Rao said.

Rao said that the charter of demands submitted by the trade union for wage revision for the period between April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2021, was positively discussed in five rounds of talks starting August 9, 13, 16, 19 and 20, but a solution is yet to be reached.

Also read: Are Mumbai buses BEST for commuters?

BEST employees had threatened to go on an indefinite strike from the midnight of August 6 to press of signing new wage agreements involving salary hike, implementation of the merger of BMC and BEST budget and acceptance of the Memorandum of Understanding that had been signed during the earlier strike call. But they had postponed it for further deliberations and now the final date of the strike call has been posted to August 23.

It may be recalled that employees had gone on a nine-day strike on January 2019 and the undertaking had lost revenue of R19.88 crore during the strike. As many as 17 buses had been damaged in 10 stone-pelting incidents and this caused a loss of R37,318.

Also read: Mumbai: BEST bus catches fire in Matunga

Every year on August 7, the Brihanmumbai Electrical Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking celebrates ‘BEST Divas’ with a public meeting graced by various dignitaries – senior officials, members of the BEST committee, and leaders of political parties in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to mark the establishment of the undertaking.

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