Maharashtra Chief Secretary seeks to end ongoing strike by 'BEST' employees
Maharashtra Chief Secretary D K Jain will meet union leaders Saturday in a bid to end the ongoing strike of the employees of the city bus service undertaking `BEST'. Following the directions of the Bombay High Court, the chief secretary met secretaries of the transport and urban development departments and the general manager of BEST Friday evening. "However, this meeting was brief as union leaders said they will first hold a meeting with their own members and then hold discussions with the government tomorrow morning," a government official who attended the meeting said. "So a meeting has been fixed at 11 am Saturday," he said.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has once again made it clear that it is not in favour of merging the BMC's and the loss-making transport undertaking's budgets, as demanded by the union, the official said. Saturday's meeting will be chaired by the chief secretary and is expected to be attended by the Transport and Urban Development Department secretaries, BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta, BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde and union leaders.
Nearly 32,000 BEST employees are on indefinite strike since Tuesday for various demands, including the merger of BEST budget with that of the BMC, and salary hike. The high court, earlier Friday, asked the Best Workers Union to hold a meeting and take initiative to end the strike.
(With inputs from agencies.)