Mumbai bus commuters can breathe easy, no BEST strike for nowmumbai Updated: Jul 21, 2017 22:35 IST
The BEST Sanyukta Kamgar Kriti Samiti (BSKKS), a joint action committee formed by all major labour unions including BEST Kamagar Sena, had threatened to go on strike for five demands(HT)
A joint action committee of labour unions in the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) on Friday ruled out a strike for its various demands, including timely salary payments.
The BEST Sanyukta Kamgar Kriti Samiti (BSKKS), a joint action committee formed by all major labour unions including BEST Kamagar Sena, had threatened to go on strike for five demands. Their demands were the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) taking responsibility of BEST workers’ salaries, scrapping a software designed by a Canadian firm to decide work hours, ban hiring of private buses, replacing old machines and renewing wage agreements.
Instead, the committee, after a meeting at Currey Road, warned of BEST employees taking turns to sit on a indefinite hunger strike.
“Our employees have voted in favour of a strike, but we will use this weapon at the right time,” said Shashank Rao, leader of BEST Workers Union, adding that they also did not want commuters to suffer during rains.
Every day around 30 lakh commuters travel on BEST buses, the city’s second largest public mass transit system after the suburban railway. City commuters would have faced a tough time if BEST employees would have gone on strike especially during the monsoons.
On Wednesday, the committee conducted a strike vote, in which 97% of employees voted in favour of a strike.
Although, BEST labour unions have gone on strikes on several occasions in the past, this is the first time they conducted 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.