Opposition parties promise to extend their support to the agitation

The Telugu Desam Party, CPI, CPI(M), BJP, and other Opposition parties have assured their cooperation and participation in any agitation by the 108 Emergency Services Contract Employees Association in support of their demands for a better deal from the government.

At a roundtable organised at the UTF Bhavan here on Monday, the political parties' representatives and contract employees' association leaders debated at length and decided to intensify their agitation in the next two to three days as there was no positive response from the government till now.

CPI(M) city secretary R. Raghu said for over 14 days, the 108 employees were on strike without salaries and it was for their political parties now to go to their rescue and bring pressure on the government.

TDP city vice-president S. Ravindra Varma, BJP city general secretary D. Umamaheswara Rao, and other leaders addressed the roundtable. 108 Contract Employees Association district honorary president Ch. Krishna, president Ch. Ravi Kumar, and others said they would take the support of all parties and organisations in their stir to get justice.

Main demands

Mr. Krishna said their main demands included payment of pending salaries immediately, payment of salaries as per the GO No 3 and conducting repairs to the 108 free ambulance vehicles, as this was causing a lot of insecurity to the contract employees on duty. He said the contract employees were made to work for 12 hours a day but this should be set right by implementing the 8 hours per day rule in their case.

The political leaders said despite the life-saving services being rendered by the staff of 108 ambulances, the government seemed not at all concerned about resolving their problems. Nowadays, people were not thinking of consulting a doctor immediately but they were calling 108 to get immediate emergency services from the staff there and such a system should not be damaged, the leaders added.

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