Some of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transportation (BEST) staff sat on an indefinite hunger strike on Wednesday as there is no progress after discussions with the government for a new wage settlement.
Workers are proceeding their hunger strike for the next few days, after which they would decide on the protest's future plan of action, said Shashank Rao, chairman of the BEST Sanyukt Kamgar Kruti Samiti (BSKKS), an umbrella organization of significant BEST unions. The protesters request that the BEST budget be merged with the BMC budget, wage hike, and Diwali bonus. They raised slogans against the Shiv Sena as they are in power of BMC, accusing the party of misleading the BEST staff on pay hike.
Shiv Sena claims it might implement suggestions from the 7th pay commission that require more Rs. 2750 crore. Mr Rao said that they spoke to BEST General Manager who said the carrier could offer maximum crore Rs. 789. Shiv Sena lies to them.
In January 2019, a comparable strike by BEST staff took place that lasted almost a week, giving it the largest bus strike ever in the town. As many as 3,200 buses are reported to be flying underneath the BEST and more than 25 lakh travellers are travelling every day via these buses.
The cause for the January strike has been the same where the staff demanded greater wages, a merge of the BEST budget with the plan of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The management then launched malicious activities against the strike employees, even after the employees gave the strike a previous notice.