BEST stir: 350 cases filed, but no arrests
From P 1
We have made efforts to knock at all doors and petition every stakeholder. It is not clear whether the CM will intervene,” said a union leader.
On its part, the BEST management has filed around 350 cases under MESMA (Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act) ataround half a dozen police station against the striking workers, but not arrest has been made yet. Sources said the management has been gathering evidence against Rao and other union activists in a bid to get them arrested if the strike goes on. The union has also defied the industrial court order which had "restrained them from going on strike", said a senior official, adding that nearly 350 contempt notices have been issued so far.
A few days back, the BEST Workers Union met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, but the meeting yielded no result.’
Nearly 32,000 staffers from the transport wing of BEST are on strike since January 8 and as many as 3,337 buses, including 120 double decker buses, are off roads. As for the Electricity wing of BEST, 54% staffers (of a total around 8,000 employees) are on strike and this could affect restoration services in case of major power cuts/outages in the island city. According to BEST muster, just four drivers had reported for duty on Sunday and not a single bus was operated.
The demands include merger of BEST budget with civic budget so that BMC takes full responsibility of the financial burden of transport undertaking, gradation pay hike, wage settlement and issues pertaining to recruitments and staff quarters.