India: PUCL Maharashtra wants BEST management to address workers grievances

Author: People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra State Unit, India, Published on: 9 January 2019

"PUCL Maharashtra statement in solidarity with protesting BEST workers", 9 January 2019

PUCL [People's Union for Civil Liberties] Maharashtra expresses shock and dismay at reports that the BMC [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation] and BEST [Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport] administration have chosen to invoke draconian provisions of the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against striking BEST employees, instead of taking steps to respond to their demands and alleviate their grievances at the earliest.

PUCL Maharashtra learns that the BEST administration has issued eviction notices to striking BEST employees and is already trying to remove them and their families from their homes, on the second day of the indefinite strike called by BEST workers’ unions to press for their demands...PUCL Maharashtra urges the civic administration to withdraw the notices forthwith.

The strike has been called to demand the merger of the BEST budget with the principal budget of the BMC, in addition to pressing for negotiations with the management on wages, resumption of appointments on compassionate grounds and bonus parity with BMS employees...[Fears] also expressed.. that the administration is bringing in privatization through the back door and making a vital public transport service unaffordable and unsustainable...[S]everal mega projects have been initiated throughout Maharashtra without any regard for the environmental damage, the loss of livelihood of the fishing community of Mumbai and the high cost of the multi-crore [more than 10 million rupees] projects, which will ultimately be borne by all citizens...

...PUCL Maharashtra urges the BEST management to immediately initiate talks with the striking workers to redress their grievances and the state government to strengthen public transport in Mumbai, instead of contributing to its destruction.

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Related companies: Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST)