BEST bus drivers and conductors on Wednesday called off their strike. This comes a day after BEST conductors and drivers held the city ransom by taking “mass leave” to protest a computer-based scheduling system to be implemented, which their union alleged, increased duty hours.
Barring 41 bus staff members, 9,768 drivers and conductors participated in what is seen as a flash strike.
On a notice of motion filed by the BEST undertaking, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday afternoon asked the BEST Workers’ Union to issue a statement by 4.45 pm asking its members to accept their new attendance cards and resume bus services in the city. “The buses have gone off the roads since early morning causing great hardship and virtual chaos in the city,” the court observed. BEST had moved the High Court urging it to restrain the union from asking its members to remain absent from their duty.
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An industrial court, hearing a complaint of the union against the revised schedule drawn up by a Canadian firm, had on March 29 vacated a stay on the status quo granted earlier. It also rejected the union’s plea for an interim stay on this order. According to BEST, instead of challenging the industrial court’s order in HC, the union had issued a notice to its members asking them not to accept the new attendance card until they receive a copy of the industrial court order.