BEST strike continues: 2,000 striking staffers told to vacate quarters
Officials of BEST's welfare department sealed the Bhoiwada staff quarters. A BEST official said notices had also been served to staffers in Narayan building at Colaba, and in Wadala and Parel
As the BEST strike entered its second day, the administration slapped notices on 2,000 employees asking them to vacate the staff quarters and 300 others were issued notices under the Maharashtra Essential Services and Maintenance Act (MESMA) as trade unions said the strike would continue even if they faced arrest. The Shiv Sena union's backing out of the strike did not yield much either as a mere 11 buses operated through the day.
Officials of BEST's welfare department sealed the Bhoiwada staff quarters. A BEST official said notices had also been served to staffers in Narayan building at Colaba, and in Wadala and Parel. "The BEST administration has stooped very low by slapping notices. We heard that a girl returning from school was not allowed to go home here. This is quite shameful. We have made many trips to the Colaba headquarters, but BEST is unwilling to accept our demands. We will not take back the strike until we are given some assurance and a package as per our demands," trade union leader Shashank Sharad Rao said. Wives of employees will protest at the Wadala depot today.
BEST General Manager Dr Surendra Bagade said the organisation was open to hearing out the employees out but only after they take back the strike. Commuters continued to use alternatives like the Metro, Ola, Uber and additional services run by the railways. The state government also formally allowed private vehicles and buses to ferry passengers till the strike was called off. A circular issued by the Home Department stated that all private buses, school buses, and goods carrier vehicles would be allowed to ferry passengers.
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