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BEST employees on indefinite strike, over 25 lakh passengers in Mumbai to face a hard time

The employees decided to call for a strike after the BEST administration failed to come up with any concrete solution to resolve their long-pending demands.

BEST employees on indefinite strike, over 25 lakh passengers in Mumbai to face a hard time

MUMBAI: Over 25 lakh passengers in Mumbai are set to face inconvenience as around 40,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) service are on an indefinite strike since Monday midnight. The employees are striking over various demands in connection with their remuneration. 

The strike is being done despite an industrial court restraining them from taking the step. The employees decided to call for a strike after the BEST administration failed to come up with any concrete solution to resolve their long-pending demands.

Various unions of BEST workers are demanding renewal of their salary agreements that got expired in 2016, rise in gratuity and bonus amounts. They are also seeking immediate resolution of housing issues and merger of various undertakings of BEST.

The unions have also been demanding that BEST and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) budgets be merged.

As per reports, the Maharashtra government might slap Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) on the employees who have gone on strike. The Act gives police the right to arrest, without a warrant, anybody violating the provisions.

The BEST management had declared the strike illegal and issued internal circulars warning staffers of strict action if they proceeded with it. When all talks between the parties failed, the BEST management approached the Industrial Court seeking relief against the strike. The court on Friday restrained union workers from going on strike till it hears the complaint filed by BEST management.