BMC staff strike on; no headway in talks

BMC staff strike on; no headway in talks Mumbai: The strike by employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), members of the Municipal Mazdoor Union headed by Sharad Rao, entered second day on Tuesday, amid criticism that they were holding Mumbaikars to ransom.

The absence of nurses and ward boys at municipal hospitals owing to the strike has caused hardship for patients.

Industries minister Narayan Rane, speaking to reporters here, said Rao was holding Mumbai to ransom with the unwarranted strike.

Talks between Rao, who belongs to NCP and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar today were inconclusive.

The strike will continue if demands for a hike in wages are not met by the civic administration, Rao said. He alleged that the civic administration had failed to revise the employees' wages despite an assurance given on August 27.

He said employees had lost faith in Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar and will have further negotiations only in the presence of Ajit Pawar and Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray.

The strike has affected essential services such as water supply, health, Fire Brigade and conservancy.

The authorities have decided to press state home guards, civil defence labourers and NGO workers into action in view of the strike so that essential services like water supply are not affected.