Avoid a strike, says BEST chief Anil Patankar

Mumbai: The BEST workers’ uni­on had threatened strike on Aug­ust 7, the BEST day. Even after fares were reduced and new bus­es were added to the fleet, there are a few more demands, which the administration is yet to meet.

BEST committee chairman Anil Patankar said they are trying to find out a solution. That’s why, he asked the union to avoid a strike. Earlier, the union went on a 9-day strike. It was termed as a historic one, as it was the longest ever. Mumbaikars had to face a lot of troubles.

After the strike got over, an MoU was signed between the BEST and the union. The administration had fulfilled some demands, but some related to workers are yet to be fulfilled.

Shashank Rao, the union leader, said, “BEST administration has failed to fulfil assurances, mentio­ned in the MoU. The union has given a go-ahead to hire private buses on a wet-lease model.

BEST and BMC had assured of negotiations on wage agreement, besides giving remaining 10-step hike to junior grade employees, but it is not yet fulfilled.”

He added though BEST has reduced fares and started wet-leasing, other pending demands are not met. Meetings are on. Employees must not be axed as the route will pass through the meets.

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