Mumbai, June 14: The state-run Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) - which plies buses in Mumbai and suburban region - came under fire from the employee union as it slashed the pay of drivers and conductors who did not report to work in crucial lockdown period. Some of the staffers were given "zero salary" for the month of May. BEST Demands Staggered Timings in Private Offices to Maintain Social Distancing Norms in Buses And at Stands.

BEST Employee Union marked its dissent against the management's decision, saying that they would approach the Maharashtra government to raise their plight. The Shiv Sena, which is part of the ruling coalition, must intervene as the issue involves "sons of the soil", said Union leader Shashank Rao.

Several staffers are left on pennies as they have been paid absolutely no salary for the past month, the Union said. It called the tough decision of BEST illegal, pointing that the salaries have been cut even for the absenteeism before the March 29 circular which made their attendance mandatory.

While the Union is agitated over the austere decision of BEST management, senior officials of the bus-service provider justified the salary cut. They pointed out that a chunk of the employees against whom action has been taken reside within the city at the BEST residential quarters. But still they did not report to work, he claimed.

Due to their non-cooperation, the BEST faced hurdles in providing services to frontline workers who had to be ferried amid the lockdown. Arrangement of commutation for migrant workers to the  Railway stations also turned strenuous due to the unavailability of drivers, the official added.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 14, 2020 04:24 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website