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Mumbai Central Railway to Run Extra Services Today Amid BEST Workers' Strike

Over 32,000 BEST employees went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday over various demands, including higher salaries.

News18.com

Updated:January 9, 2019, 12:07 PM IST
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Mumbai Central Railway to Run Extra Services Today Amid BEST Workers' Strike
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Mumbai: Mumbai Central Railway will run extra trains on Wednesday to ensure commuters don't face inconvenience amid the ongoing indefinite strike called by Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply Transport (BEST) workers' union.

Despite the Shiv Sena-affiliated union withdrawing from the protest, only five buses of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST), were plying on roads this morning, a BEST official said.

Over 32,000 BEST employees went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday over various demands, including higher salaries.

The state government quickly moved to invoke the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against the striking BEST employees, while its management asked them to end the stir and come to the negotiating table.

According to the news agency ANI, Following are the detailed timings of additional services provided by the Central Railway:

Mainline:

Thane (TNA) departure at 13:44 hours and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station (CSMT) arrival at 14.40 hours.

CSMT departure at 14.49 hours and Kalyan (KYN) arrival at 16.15 hours.

Harbour line:

Vashi (VSH) departure at 13.44 hours and CSMT arrival at 14.32 hours.

CSMT departure at 14.45 hours and Panvel (PNVL) arrival at 16.05 hours.

BEST's Kamgar Sena had late Tuesday evening said that 11,000 of its members would go back to work on Wednesday to mitigate woes of Mumbaikars. It had also said that nearly 500 buses were expected to run on Wednesday.

The BEST has a fleet of over 3,200 buses, which criss-cross the metropolis and also operate services in the neighbouring Thane district and Navi Mumbai.

It is the second-biggest mode of transport in Mumbai after local trains, which ferry over 80 lakh passengers every day. "However, only five buses were plying on the city roads on Wednesday morning," a senior BEST official said.

The employees are demanding higher pay, merging budget of the loss-making transport undertaking with that of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), deliberations on new wage agreement, resuming appointments on compassionate grounds and a bonus equivalent to that of the civic body's employees.

The protest by BEST employees coincided with the two-day nationwide bank strike called by trade unions to protest the government's "anti-worker" policies and labour reforms.

The strike, declared illegal by the industrial court here, on Tuesday affected nearly 25 lakh daily commuters, who rely on BEST buses to reach their destinations.

A BEST staffer, who is a member of the Sena-affiliated union, expressed anger over his union's decision to withdraw from the strike.

(With agency inputs)

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