Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 18:
After a dharna in Lower PMG of Bhubaneswar and all night long discussions with Odisha Government yesterday, the 108 ambulance workers of the state today ceased work demanding fulfilment of their seven point charter of demands.
Even though Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak hinted at enforcing Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to curb the strike, no concrete announcements have been made so far.
“We are aware about the issues they are raising. The government is considering their demands. I appeal them to call off the strike and resume work. So far as their complaints pertaining to the company and their salary are concerned, the company has hiked their salary and has taken measures to fulfill their demand. The government would take strict action If they continue to cease work,” said Minister Nayak.
Notably, the employees of the 108 ambulance service including drivers, helpers and medical technicians have been agitating since a long time demanding payment of minimum guaranteed wages, 15 per cent annual increment and construction of rest shades for the employees among others.
Besides, they have been alleging that they are being forced to work in 12-hour-long shifts against the provision of eight hours.
Yesterday, they had staged a dharna in Lower PMG and the day before – they had worn black badges and had staged protests in front of district collector’s offices across the state.