‘Ambulance strike withdrawn, but only temporarily’

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ambulanceBangalore: Even as the members of Arogya Kavacha (108) Ambulance Employees’ Sangha, who have been striking work since July 26, withdrew their strike on Thursday, they have expressed optimism that their 14-day agitation would not go in vain, following the intervention of the High Court.

The members of the union pointed out that they would continue to engage in a dialogue with the Health Department and GVK EMRI, the private agency running the services, to make sure their demands were addressed. R. Sridhar, president of the union, said the strike was withdrawn “only temporarily” and that the union members would fight to ensure that their demands, which include increase in salaries, proper allowances and better working conditions, were addressed at the meeting next week. “We will fight to ensure that some of the drivers and nurses who were terminated a few months ago get back their jobs.”

Pandappa Korti, an Emergency Medical Technician from Gadag, said: “We have gone on strike several times before. But now in the light of the High Court order, we are optimistic that we will get justice.”

Meanwhile, Jagadish Patil, State head, GVK EMRI, said that based on the High Court order, they had decided to revoke their earlier decision to terminate 194 employees. “Now that our employees will finally return to work, we are ready to have a dialogue and address their grievances.”

Close to 2,400 emergency medical technicians and drivers of the 108 services across the State are expected return to work on Friday and Saturday. A meeting with representatives from the Health Department, members of the union and officials of GVK EMRI is expected to take place on August 14.

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