BEST employees may lose pay for strike period

Mumbai: Employees of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking, who recently received written assurance of a pay hike, are now looking at the possibility of their pay being docked for the nine days they were on strike. The deduction could be from their January salaries, according to a source. “I hope there will be no pay cut for the employees of the Shiv Sena union, because they withdrew from the strike on the second day”, said a Sena corporator from the Sena. Thirty-three thousand BEST employees struck work for nine days, including 10,000 from the Shiv Sena Kamgar Union and 13,000 from the BEST Workers’ Union led by Shashank Rao.

“Since the employees disobeyed the orders of the industrial court, which had restrained them from going to strike, the BEST will have to deduct a part of the employees’ salary”, said a BEST official. However, Rao has suggested that the workers who went on strike be allowed to apply for nine days of privilege leave.  Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday did not clear the crucial BEST budget. Due to the budget showing a deficit of Rs 770 crore, it was referred back to the transport undertaking. “The BEST should get support from the state government,”opposition corporators in the BMC have demanded.

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