HC asks BMC to pay staff 2010-11 Diwali bonus

Granting relief to over 40,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Bombay High Court Thursday directed the civic body to pay the principal amount of the Diwali bonus for 2010-11. BMC had challenged a single judge's order asking it to pay the bonus amount of Rs 11,000 per employee. On September 19 and 20, 2011, over 40,000 BMC employees struck work demanding a salary hike according to the Sixth Pay Commission, bringing all civic works from garbage collection to public hospitals - to a standstill.

The civic body had issued a circular on October 15 stating the employees who went on a strike on September 19-20 will not be eligible for the ex-gratia for 2010-11.

The Municipal Mazdoor Union had challenged the decision before the industrial court that ruled in their favour. Subsequently, after the corporation challenged the decision of the industrial court, a single judge of the High Court too ruled in favour of the union.

On Thursday, Justices A M Khanwilkar and Mridula Bhatkar passed an interim order while hearing an application filed by the BMC seeking a stay on the single judge's order.

In 2011, the BMC had decided to pay its employees a collective Diwali bonus of Rs 153 crore. The civic body spends over 60 per cent of its budget on salaries.

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