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BEST bus strike in Mumbai soon? 36,000 staff to cast their vote today, results to be out on July 18

The BEST undertaking ferries 30 lakh suburban commuters daily and supplies power to 10 lakh consumers in the island city.

mumbai Updated: Jul 18, 2017 15:18 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,BEST bus,BEST bus strike
The BEST undertaking ferries 30 lakh suburban commuters daily and supplies power to 10 lakh consumers in the island city. (File)

Will the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and transport (BEST) go on strike? Mumbaiites will get an answer to this question on Wednesday, when the result of the ballot on strike held for BEST’s 36,000 employees will be announced.

If sources are to be believed, most employees are likely to vote in favour of the strike to press for various demands, including salary on time.

The BEST undertaking ferries 30 lakh suburban commuters daily and supplies power to 10 lakh consumers in the island city. Cumulative losses of BEST are over Rs2,100 crore.

Although BEST labour unions have gone on strike on several occasions in the past, this is the first time they are conducting a strike ballot. A ballot is mandatory under provisions of the Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act to hold a legal strike.

Read more: Mumbai: BEST pays half of May salary, but strike looks likely

The BEST Sanyukta Kamgar Kriti Samiti (BSKKS), a joint action committee formed by all major labour unions including BEST Kamagar Sena, labour wing of ruling Shiv Sena in the undertaking, wants to go on a strike to press for their long-pending demands such as putting the responsibility of workers’ salaries on BMC, scrapping of a software designed by a Canadian firm to decide their work hours, ban on hiring of private buses, among others.

BEST that runs Mumbai’s second largest mass transport system and distributes electricity to the island city is going through its worst financial crisis, delaying employees’ salaries.

Suhas Nalawade, former BEST official and labour union leader, said the strike ballot began at all depots in the morning. “The result will be out on Wednesday, on the basis of which the committee will decide the strategy,” he said.

The BEST undertaking ferries 30 lakh suburban commuters daily and supplies power to 10 lakh consumers in the island city. Cumulative losses of the BEST have grown over Rs2,100 crore.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 15:14 IST