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BEST strike to continue on Friday

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The indefinite strike by employees of the city's civic transport undertaking (BEST) will continue Friday, as talks between union leaders and officials remained inconclusive.

Uddhav Thackeray, whose party controls the (BMC), met the BEST union leaders in the presence of Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, and the BEST at the

The negotiations went on for nearly seven hours but failed to break the deadlock.

"The officials have refused to relent on our demands to merge the budget of BEST with that of the BMC. Therefore, the strike will continue. They did not agree to even give us a written assurance about our other demands," told reporters after the meeting.

He added that while Thackeray tried to find a middle ground, he did not succeed.

The Union has written to Chief Minister and demanded a written assurance on its demands, Rao said.

"This strike was called by workers. In the absence of definite assurance, what will we tell them?" said Rao.

Nearly 32,000 BEST employees are on indefinite strike since Tuesday over various demands, including higher salaries and merger of budgets. While the BMC is the richest municipal body in the country, BEST is a loss-making undertaking.

Not a single BEST bus plied on roads since morning, an said.

Commuters complained that auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers were charging much more than normal rates.

A PIL was filed in the Thursday seeking a direction to BEST workers to end the strike. The court will be hearing it Friday.

The BEST has a fleet of over 3,200 buses, which criss-cross the metropolis and also operate services in the neighbouring district and Navi It is the second-biggest mode of after the local trains.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 00:10 IST