‘108’ staff on strike

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Bangalore, July 26, 2013: More than 2,500 employees attached to the ‘108’ ambulance service of the GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) launched their indefinite strike on Friday, demanding better welfare benefits. The striking employees include ambulance drivers, technicians and nurses, who manage 517 ambulances across the State.

Nagaraj, vice-president of the Arogya Kavacha Employees Union said, “The employees are paid Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 at present, as opposed to the Rs 10,000 to Rs 11,000 stipulated by the government. We have been demanding job security and salaries as per government standards for a long time now. But nothing has been done about it till date.” Nagaraj also alleged that the over 2,500 employees had been either wrongfully suspended or terminated since 2008.

GVK-EMRI responded by saying that the claims made by the employees were false. “Allegations made by the employees’ group are baseless. Their demands too are unrealistic,” said Jagadish Patil, State Head, GVK-EMRI. He assured that the ambulance services will remain unaffected by the strike.

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