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Mumbai civic workers agitate

Last updated on: October 08, 2003 01:33 IST

Around 15,000 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation employees on Tuesday took out a morcha from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan in Mumbai to agitate over the payment of Diwali bonus.

Mayor Mahadev Deole had on Monday announced that the BMC would pay an advance of Rs 4,500 to each worker, but the Employees' Coordination Committee, led by trade unionist Sharad Rao, did not budge from its demand of 8.33 per cent bonus plus Rs 5,000.

Rao told rediff.com: "We expect the mayor and municipal commissioner to come to us for negotiations. Most of our union's members have taken leave and participated in this morcha. This will continue for the next three days."

However, Municipal Commissioner Karun Shrivastva was in no mood to relent. "Why should we go to them for negotiations? They have to come to us," he said.

"We had taken stay on employees' strike from the court. We will take appropriate action against them," he added.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde tried to sort out the differences. He met Rao and Shrivastva and asked them to get down to negotiations.

Vijay Singh in Mumbai