Around 3,000 buses were off the roads in Mumbai on Tuesday as employees of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport went on an indefinite strike from Monday night. As many as 25 lakh commuters were expected to be affected, according to NDTV.
The strike was called by the BEST Sanyukta Kamgar Kruti Samiti, a joint committee of many labour unions. Their demands include merging the company’s budget with that of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, resuming appointments, more wages and resolving the concern of employee housing.
The strike is not related to the one called by trade unions nationwide on Tuesday.
Several commuters in Mumbai were seen queuing up near private bus stops and railway stations on Tuesday. Commuters also complained of severe traffic jams in some places in the morning.
The management had declared the strike illegal and warned employees of strict action if they proceeded with it. They had also approached a court in Mumbai on Monday seeking relief against the strike, according to the Hindustan Times. The court had also restrained the employees from protesting. However, the strike began on Tuesday, with no buses plying from all the 27 bus depots in the city. Of 2,200 drivers, only eight had turned up to work, and of 2,259 conductors, only one person was available on Tuesday morning.
The Maharashtra government may impose the Essential Services Maintenance Act on the protesting employees, according to PTI.