BEST bus services could be hit on August 18, if a union comprising workers, drivers and conductors carries out its threat of a day-long ‘protest’.
The union, led by Sharad Rao, is miffed with the BEST administration for not implementing their demands of revision of wages and increasing the allowances.
The union claims that the agitation is voluntary, but they have received support from many drivers and conductors.
“It is entirely up to the drivers and conductors whether they wish to join the agitation or not. We are not stopping the bus services by any form of agitation,” said Sharad Rao, general secretary, BEST Workers’ Union.
However, around 10,000 drivers, conductors and workers involved in other jobs are expected to participate in the protest.
The protest could keep several buses off the roads, severely crippling BEST services. Of the 4,700 buses in the BEST fleet, almost 300 buses, on an average, stay off the road every day due to maintenance issues. A further reduction in buses will make matters worse for thousands of commuters.
A few months ago, there was similar agitation when drivers and conductors who were on contract wanted the BEST administration to take them on as employees.