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BMC workers to go on mass leave, Mumbai for a toss
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | August 10, 2004 17:15 IST
Last Updated: August 11, 2004 02:11 IST
Nearly 180,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation intend to bring Mumbai to a halt by taking three days mass casual leave from Wednesday protesting against a possible reduction in their dearness allowance.
Maharashtra Mazdoor Union leader Sharad Rao is spearheading the move, which is likely to affect essential services in Mumbai, including BEST buses, municipal-run hospitals, schools and buses run by the civic body. However, Rao made it clear that the employees are not going on a strike (because it is illegal) but are only taking casual leave en masse to voice their protest.
Asked if there was a chance that workers would go on further mass casual leave if their demands were not met, Rao said, "We will decide that on Friday."
In a swift move, BMC authorities appealed to all the employees to desist from joining the agitation or face stern action saying legal action would be taken against those taking leave without any valid reason.
They have also called on the police, home guards, civil defence personnel, private contractors and non-governmental organisations to help manage the affairs of the city.
"The additional expenditure work will be recovered by deducting the same from the salaries of the striking employees," a BMC statement said.
Civic body authorities and union representatives failed to reach an agreement by Tuesday midnight. BEST workers are also expected to join the agitation.
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