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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

108 ambulance workers to go on strike from January 8

Members of the 108 Ambulance Workers’ Union, including drivers, emergency medical technicians (EMT) and call centre personnel, have announced an indefinite strike from January 8 in Madurai, Dindigul and Theni districts.

Union State general secretary R. Rajendran told presspersons here on Sunday that the members held a preparatory meeting to discuss steps to press for their demands. Their long-pending demand for a decent working place for the workers, both men and women, had not been met by the State government even since the operation of 108 ambulance was started in 2008.

“As the work of ambulance drivers keeps increasing every day, particularly due to the increase in transfer of the critically ill-patients from the Primary Health Centres (PHC) and rural hospitals to the district hospitals, the drivers are pushed to work for more than 12 hours a day subjecting themselves to all sorts of physical and mental illnesses,” he said.

“As the 108 ambulance service is managed by a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement, the EMRI-GHS administration, citing staff shortage, does not operate around 100 ambulances in the State. Because of this, lives of many critically ill patients are in danger,” he said. 

The strike is to press for demands such as regularising the working hours of workers, reinstating those who were sacked for their involvement in union activities and bringing back ambulances that were kept off the road. “The strike would continuing indefinitely till our demands are met,” said Mr. Rajendran. 

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