Times are bad, BEST must get its act together

Published: May 16, 2020, 04:30 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

The spur to this call comes from the fact that there are a high number of cases within the BEST and at least seven deaths

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

It is the BEST of times, it is the worst of times, as a call was given by the BEST Undertaking's biggest trade union for a lockdown in services from Monday.

The spur to this call comes from the fact that there are a high number of cases within the BEST and at least seven deaths.

A logjam has ensued with the workers saying not enough has been done for them, and certainly, the protective gear needed for safety is missing.

The authorities, on the other hand, claim that they are doing all they can, taking precautions and ensuring that employees are given face shields and other safety measures are being taken.

While the strike may or may not take place, it is time to defuse this situation. Representatives of both sides need to have a dialogue on how this knotty problem can be resolved.

First up, is agreement on compensation to the families of the persons who have died. Empty words will exacerbate a challenging situation. When you talk and agree on compensation, decide to have a timeline on the money. And then, of course, it has to be followed by honouring that to the letter.

Failed promises build bitterness and cynicism among employees and the state machinery. The time now is to build trust and bridges as arms of different services are going to be pressed into action, as new phases of how to lift the lockdown come into effect.

Every service provider has to be assured that their safety is the state's priority. They should be, by and large, satisfied with the overall procedure during this pandemic.

Close the gap through mutual understanding, agreement and action, as divisions, stand-offs and strikes will make a difficult situation even worse. Come up with the BEST possible way ahead.

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