The functioning of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay (PDU) Hospital in Rajkot was affected as sanitation workers and peons engaged by the hospital through outsourcing agencies went on a flash strike demanding wages equal to regular employees of the hospital on Tuesday.
More than 200 sanitation workers assembled in front of statue of BR Ambedkar in Civil Hospital Chowk in the morning, holding placards demanding equal pay for same work. They said that they were being paid a monthly salary of Rs 7,600 while regular employees doing the same work were getting up to Rs 35,000. They demanded that their working hours be fixed and that the government should also provide them job security. After a brief demonstration, ‘A’ Divison police detained workers.
“After detaining them, we took them to city police headquarters. We released all of them at around 7:30 pm,” Chintan Joshi, poice inspector of ‘A’ Division police station said.
The flash strike comes when Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), Jayanti Ravi has been camping in Rajkot for three days in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the district.
“The strike did affect the functioning of the hospital to some extent. We are in the process of hiring manpower for the Covid-19 hospital and new people have joined. Also, some others have offered to do overtime. Hence the impact was not severe,” Dr MS Roy, resident medical officer PDU Hospital said.
He added that two to three outsourcing agencies were supplying sanitation workers and peons to the hospital run by the state government. “However, their demand for higher pay and regularisation of services is a policy matter and I cannot comment on them,” added Dr Roy.
Dr Pankaj Buch, medical superintendent of PDU Hospital was not immediately available for comment.
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