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No strike over new duty system: BEST to Bombay High Court

Saturday, 12 April 2014 - 10:10am IST | Agency: dna

The BEST Workers' Union on Friday assured the Bombay High Court its members would not resort to strike to protest the implementation of the new Canadian system of duty schedules at the Malad depot.

Uday Amonkar, president of the union made the promise before justice Nitin Jamdar, who was hearing a petition filed by the union challenging the BEST management's decision to implement the new scheduling system.

Justice Jamdar has asked them to try out the new system on experimental basis before raising apprehensions.

Neeta Karnik, advocate for the union, argued that under the garb of a pilot project, the management has changed schedule of drivers and conductors at Goregaon and Malwani depots also. "This is against the understanding arrived at last month between the workers and the management," argued Karnik.

Counsel for BEST, Kevic Setalvad, opposed the argument, saying that the new system cannot be implemented at one depot on a standalone basis and adjustments would have to be made on schedules of nearby depots.

Accepting the argument, justice Jamdar rapped the union saying that they were based on concerns and apprehensions without trying out the new system of duty schedule. Plus, the new system is on an experimental basis, said justice Jamdar.

"The union members have to try out the new schedule and participate in the experiment. You (workers) are apprehending problems even before giving the experiment a try. Ultimately they (BEST) are the employers. If they are trying something new the employees have to cooperate. You (workers) cannot make high demands and make it an issue of ego," observed justice Jamdar.

The HC has kept the petition for hearing on April 16.

The BEST staffers had gone on a mass leave on April 1 and 2 in protest. They resumed work after the management told them that the new system would be first used on a trial basis and then implemented only after considering the shortfalls.

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