Mumbai commuters hit by twin transport strike

August 18th, 2011 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 18 (IANS) Thousands of Mumbai commuters had a harrowing time Thursday travelling to and from homes to offices in view of a twin strike by public bus service employees and a group of suburban train motormen here.

Following vociferous public protests, both the strikes were called off Thursday evening and the services started limping back to normalcy.

Nearly 20,000 BEST employees, including drivers and conductors, went on a strike from midnight Wednesday, inconveniencing thousands of bus commuters, including students and office crowds since Thursday morning.

A BEST spokesperson said that one of the major unions called for the strike, demanding implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission for the BEST staff.

The issue has been under the consideration of the BEST management and is expected to be resolved soon, he added.

The harried commuters had another shock when the entire batch of motormen of the Western Railway’s crucial evening shift went on a strike around 4.30 p.m.

The sudden action - mass sick leave by around 80 motormen - followed a decision by the WR to suspend the services of one motorman.

The action resulted in chaos at Churchgate, Dadar, Andheri, Borivli and Virar stations as huge crowds of commuters returning to their homes waited for the train services to resume.

Thought the issue was still being negotiated between the motormen’s union and the WR authorities, following public uproar, the motormen decided to resume work just before 6 p.m.

Around seven million people travel daily up and down on Mumbai’s lifelines, the suburban local trains and BEST buses across the city.

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