Mumbai: Over 3,500 BEST buses go off roads as workers strike over salaries
The transport department has asked the autorickshaw and taxi unions to ensure more vehicles on the roads. Photograph: (Twitter)
Over 3,500 buses of the Bombay Electric Supply and Transport (BEST)'s buses went off the roads in Mumbai on Monday as the transport utility's workers launched a strike to press for salary demands, news agency PTI reported.
Nearly 36,000 BEST employees stayed off duty, stranding over 30,00,000 daily commuters.
The BEST employees and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have been at loggerheads for the past few days over several issues, including irregular payment of salaries.
"We wanted a written assurance from the BMC administration but they did not give it. Now, we have decided not to report to duty from midnight. No bus will ply tomorrow (August 7)," BEST Workers' Union leader Shashank Rao said Sunday.
The BEST administration issued a circular on Sunday warning the employees of disciplinary action under the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) if participated in the strike.
"It is unfortunate that our workers have gone on strike on Raksha Bandhan. They must think of the inconvenience caused to the commuters and realise that the BEST administration has assured them to pay the salaries on 10th of every month," BEST committee chairman Anil Kokil told PTI.
The transport department has asked the autorickshaw and taxi unions to ensure more vehicles on the roads.