Indefinite strike by Arogya Raksha Kavacha 108 staff called off
At a standstill: Arogya Raksha Kavacha (108) ambulances parked in front of Deputy Commissioner's office in Chitradurga on Saturday.
Chitradurga: “We are relentlessly working to save the lives of people, but now our lives are not secure,” said Kavita, an emergency medical technician (EMT) with the Arogya Raksha Kavacha ‘108' ambulance service.
She was part of the Statewide strike called by members of the Karnataka State Arogya Raksha Kavacha 108 Workers' Association.
They were protesting against alleged harassment by seniors.
As many as 94 staff members in 15 ambulances of the Arogya Raksha Kavach 108 service parked their vehicles in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office in protest here on Saturday.
However, the strike was called off late on Saturday evening.
In a memorandum, the association alleged that senior officials of GVK, which operates the ambulances, had been harassing the workers.
EMT Sharanappa Tanki working in Sindagi taluk of Bijapur district reportedly attempted to commit suicide as he could not bear their harassment at the hands of GVK officials, the protesters said.
They demanded immediate legal action against GVK's human resource development officials who were responsible for the harassment.
Speaking to The Hindu, State vice-president of the association R. Sridhar demanded that GVK bear the medical expenses of the victim.
Mr. Sridhar alleged that GVK had not raised the salaries of workers since the introduction of the 108 service in November 2008.
“When any member of the staff raises his or her voice against injustice, GVK forces them to resign,” he alleged.
He also demanded that GVK permit employees to work in their native districts rather than appointing them elsewhere.
GVK should also reduce the number of working hours from 12 to eight hours a day, he said.
Over 3,000 workers of 517 ambulances in the State would be on strike till their demands were met, Mr. Sridhar added.