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Kerala: 108 Ambulance staff begins indefinite strike over delayed salaries

The 108 ambulance employees in Kerala have gone on strike, halting inter-hospital patient transfers due to delayed salaries for May. The strike, led by the CITU, began after salaries were not received by June 12.

Kerala: 108 Ambulance staff begins indefinite strike over delayed salaries in May anr
First Published Jun 12, 2024, 1:00 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Staff of 108 Emergency Ambulance Services in Kerala began an indefinite strike, refusing to transport patients between hospitals due to delayed salaries for May. The non-cooperation strike, organized by the CITU, began after employees did not receive their May salaries by the 12th. Consequently, the 108 ambulance service is currently unavailable for transferring patients to other hospitals for specialist treatment.

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The employees' salaries are managed by a Hyderabad-based private organization responsible for the project's implementation. The employees allege that their May salaries have been unreasonably withheld because the organization is owed more than Rs 50 crore by the government.

The CITU alleges that the private company is delaying employee salaries to pressure the government, breaching their agreement that salaries should be paid before the 7th of each month. This unexpected delay is causing hardships, especially at the start of the school year. With the 108 ambulance service partially halted, hospitals must rely on other private ambulances for inter-facility transfers (IFT). They demanded the authorities to intervene immediately and take further action.

However, company officials stated that they received the union's strike notice only yesterday afternoon and had previously informed employees about the salary delay. They emphasized that essential public services should not be disrupted. The officials also clarified that salaries had been paid on time in previous months and assured that the May salaries would be distributed soon. Additionally, the BMS organization has also issued a notice, warning that they will join the strike if salaries are not paid immediately.

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