Mumbai: BEST employees' strike enters Day 3 after talks fail
Mumbai, Jan 11: The indefinite strike by Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) employees entered its fourth day on Friday, as talks between union leaders and officials remained inconclusive.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party controls the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), met the BEST union leaders in the presence of Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta and the BEST commissioner Surendra Kumar Bagde at the Mayor's bungalow Thursday.
The negotiations went on for nearly seven hours but failed to break the deadlock.
At least 32,000 employees of Mumbai's civic transport from a long time have been demanding higher pay, merging budget of the loss-making transport undertaking with that of the BMC, deliberations on new wage agreement, resuming appointments on compassionate grounds and a bonus equivalent to that of the civic body's employees.
The BEST has a fleet of over 3,200 buses, which criss-cross the metropolis and also operate services in the neighbouring Thane district and Navi Mumbai. It is the second-biggest mode of transport in Mumbai after local trains, which ferry over 80 lakh passengers every day.