BEST bus strike called off after union leader meets Uddhav Thackeray

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BEST bus strike called off after union leader meets Uddhav Thackeray

The workers had claimed that they had not been paid for three months.

The undertaking's worker unions, representing over 35,000 employees, had gone on strike from midnight today to press for their demands, including timely payment of salaries. He promised the leaders that the budgets of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the BEST would be merged.

In a relief to over 30 lakh commuters, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has called off the indefinite strike which began today morning.

According to sources, Thackeray promised to distribute BEST employees' salary before the 10th of every month. Earlier in the day, scores of commuters were put to hardships as taxis were unavailable in several parts of island city, autos refused and trains were crowded after 3,800 red buses went off roads during the strike on Raksha Bandhan Day. "He also promised that the budgets of BEST and BMC will be merged", said Shashank Rao, President, BEST Workers Union.This comes at a time when BEST showed losses to the tune of Rs 590 crore, and they have to repay loans of almost Rs 2,000 crore.The employees were not happy as the union leaders and the Sena chief spoke about the merger of budget and the two organisations, but there was no mention about the parity in salaries.

The Maharashtra government warned of invoking Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA), 2011 to take action against striking employees, but it did little to deter their resolve.

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