Mumbai, January 16: Bombay High Court has directed the workers of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) to end their indefinite strike and make an announcement on the same within an hour. The court also said that no action would be taken against the employees who had been on a strike for the past nine days. Amid BEST Strike, Mumbai Monorail Employees Threaten Stir Over Unpaid Salaries.
Over 32,000 BEST employees had been on strike since January 8 over their various demands, including pay hike, revision of pay grade for junior level employees, and merger of loss-making BEST's budget with that of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The workers had also rejected the management's '10-step increment' proposal to end the stalemate, which they have now agreed to during the hearing in High Court.
The court had on Tuesday directed the BEST workers' union to take a final decision on the withdrawal of their ongoing strike and inform the HC on Wednesday.
In what was one of the longest protests in the city, commuters faced a hard time with no buses on roads and autorickshaw and cab drivers charging high fares. In view of the strike, the Maharashtra government seems to have blinked. According to a report in The TOI today, the BMC has moved a proposal to merge the budget of BEST with that of the city.
This came after reports that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis intervened in the BEST bus strike on Monday and spoke to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to find a solution.
The BEST buses ferry more than 70 lakh commuters on a daily basis. With the strike in place, at least 3200 buses had remained off the road in Mumbai, leading to a horrific time for commuters.