Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 15:
Ambulance service in 14 districts of Odisha remained paralyzed as employees of the 108 ambulance service went on an indefinite strike today demanding fulfilment of their 12 point charter of demands.
Drivers, helpers and medical technicians of the ambulance service have joined the indefinite strike. The striking employees are mainly demanding hike in their salaries, timely payment of salaries and protection against mob attacks among other things.
“The company has not kept its promises on increments etc. We have been working in this organisation for the last two and half years. There has been no hike in our salaries. The labour law provides for 8 hours of duty but we are working for 12 hours. We are willing to work for 12 hours but we should be paid overtime wages. We will continue with our strike till we get written assurance on our demands,” said a striking employee.
“We are not getting wages in accordance with government rules. Our wages are very low. It’s very difficult to run our families with such low wages. Neither has the company heard our grievances nor has the government. For this reason, we are on an indefinite strike,” said another striking employee.
Meanwhile, Roopa Mishra, Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM) has confirmed that employees of 205 ambulances of 108 ambulance service were on strike in 14 districts.
“We are trying to persuade the striking staff to call off stir. We are making alternative arrangements so that the emergency service is not affected. Some employees of the service have withdrawn from their strike. Negotiations are on to resume the services in full swing,” NHM Director Roopa Mishra said.
The Mission Director said the collectors of the districts have been asked to make alternative arrangements so that patient care is not affected in the areas where the services are hit.