BMC says no to Di­wali bonus for BEST staffers

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

At a time when Shashank Rao union has threat­ened to go on strike on the is­sue of Di­wali bonus, the civic body cat­e­gor­i­cally said they would not give more funds to BEST un­less the lat­ter doesn’t im­ple­ment steps pro­posed for its re­vival. The Un­der­tak­ing’s bud­get has not been ap­proved for the last two years now.

The BEST’s bud­get of the pre­vi­ous year, with a deficit of Rs 590 crore, hasn’t been passed be­cause as per the re­vival plan, they can earn Rs 668 crore. “We have asked BEST to take steps to im­prove the fi­nan­cial con­di­tion. Hike in bus fares is not a so­lu­tion,” said BMC Com­mis­sioner Ajoy Me­hta.

The civic body has not ap­proved last year’s BEST bud­get for which they have asked the Un­der­tak­ing to im­ple­ment nine dif­fer­ent steps to erad­i­cate the deficit. Now, BEST is strug­gling to pay salaries for which they take monthly loans of Rs 200 crore. The union is also de­mand­ing Di­wali bonus as BMC has paid a bonus to its em­ploy­ees.

“The BMC has paid Rs 1400 crore as Di­wali bonus to its staff. They should un­der­stand that they are par­ent or­gan­i­sa­tion of the BEST and pay Di­wali bonus to them as well,” said Shashank Rao, pres­i­dent, BEST Work­ers’ Union.

The union have stated that if the em­ploy­ees do not re­ceive a bonus till Oc­to­ber 21, they will go on an in­def­i­nite strike. Anil Kokil, chair­man of BEST com­mit­tee, said, “I have writ­ten to the Mayor, ask­ing to give BEST em­ploy­ees a Di­wali bonus. I will be meet­ing the Mayor on Fri­day and ask­ing him to give a bonus to the em­ploy­ees.” Over­time stress

The Rail­way Kam­gar Sena, a rail­way work­ers wing of Shiv Sena, have stated the mo­tor­man will not be work­ing over­time from Oc­to­ber 15. The union is sup­ported by cen­tral rail­way mo­tor­man as­so­ci­a­tion, who have stated that they have sup­port from 400 mo­tor­men on Cen­tral Rail­way.

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