BEST protest on, stir decision today
Photo by BL SONI

Mumbai: Members of the Sanyukta Kamagar Kruti Samiti, which is the union of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST) staged a protest outside the Wadala depot, on Monday morning, to draw the attention of the administration to fulfil their demands. These protests will continue on August 27, when the decision to strike will be finalised.

This protest was held following the poll conducted by the BEST union on Saturday, in which a majority wanted to strike. The BEST union has not yet announced the specific date for calling strike.

The union leaders have stated their demands, like merger of the two budgets of BEST and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Diwali bonus, clearing the retired employees' dues and the salary hike are the prominent demands mentioned in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which have not been fulfilled.

According to the letter issued by the BEST union, they have demanded immediate implementation of the wage agreement and a 10 per cent hike for the juniour grade employees, which they claim has been pending since April 2016 and the implementation of the 7th pay commission.

Of the 17,924 employees who voted, 98 per cent, which is 17,497, voted in for a strike. While 368 employees, which is two per cent, voted against the majority. There was also online vote, in which, 1761 out of 1586, 92 per cent were in support of strike, while 97 voted against the strike.

“Majority of our union workers have supported the strike call but before that we are holding protests at Wadala depot, to draw the attention of our administration. On Tuesday afternoon the decision on the strike will be taken,” Shashank Rao, BEST union leader.

In January, this year, the BEST employees had gone on a nine-day strike, one of the longest in history of Mumbai.

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