The unions said the strike was long overdue as authorities had been given repeated warnings.
Mumbai: Despite various negotiation meetings between all the involved parties, the BEST unions will go ahead with their proposed strike from Sunday midnight. The unions have demanded they be made part of the BMC, and not just remain a sister body. The unions have asked for a written assurance their salaries will be paid on time.
BMC mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and CM Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting with the BEST management and the unions on Sunday and have assured them that the salaries will be paid on the 10th of every month from here onwards. The BEST management has meanwhile warned that Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act will be invoked against employees if they participate in the strike. Almost 36,000 workers are expected to join the strike.
The unions said the strike was long overdue as authorities had been given repeated warnings. Union leader Shashank Rao said, “We had been on hunger strike from August 1 to 3, and we had informed the BEST management a week in advance about it but there was no visible response.”
He further added that the unions were tired of assurances from the leaders. “Until they give us a written assurance about the salaries coming in by the 10th of every month, as well as our demand to makes us a part of the BMC and give BEST employees all the incentives given to a BMC employee, we will not take back the strike,” he said.
Mr Mahadeshwar asked, “How can we induct them into the BMC in one day?” He further added, “We have appealed to them, saying that Monday is not only Raksha Bandhan, but even more importantly it will be BEST’s anniversary.”
Another meeting with Union leader Rao is scheduled for Monday.