BEST employees go on indefinite hunger strike over wage hike, Diwali bonus
Dozens of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) employees sat on an indefinite hunger strike on Wednesday after talks failed to break the deadlock with management over new wage settlement.
The protest is being staged outside Wadala bus depot.
“The employees will continue their hunger strike for the next few days, after which they will decide the future course of action of the protest,” said Shashank Rao, president of the BEST Sanyukt Kamgar Kruti Samiti (BSKKS), an umbrella body of major BEST unions.
The protestors are demanding the merger of BEST budget with that of BMC, hike in salaries and Diwali bonus.
They raised slogans against Shiv Sena, which is in power in the BMC and accused the party of misleading the BEST employees on pay hike.
“Shiv Sena says that it would implement 7th pay commission recommendations which will need Rs. 2750 crore more. We have spoken to BEST General Manager who said the transporter can give maximum Rs. 789 crore. Shiv Sena is lying to us,” Rao said.
BMC opposition leader Ravi Raja and BEST panel member Sunil Ganacharya (BJP) had visited Rao yesterday evening to show solidarity towards the workers’ demands.