On the seventh day of strike by Vijaya Hospital nurses, Communist Party of India leader R. Nallakannu appealed to the hospital management to yield to their demands.

Addressing a rally on Langs Garden Road on Sunday he said, “As these are basic demands, the management should settle the issue amicably.” He also urged the government to intervene at the earliest.

In the morning, a male nurse was allegedly roughed up by ward boys of the hospital while on his way to the rally. “It is bizarre to find that ward boys are interfering in the issue and taking the side of the management. They tore banners and damaged placards that were planned to be used for the rally,” said a nurse on condition of anonymity.

Parents of some of the nurses reportedly received calls from the management asking them to convince their daughters to withdraw the strike. “A representative from the management who spoke to my father said that the strike was illegal. He forced my father to persuade me to get back to work,” said a nurse who did not want to be named.

Union president P.S. Praveen Kumar said the management had agreed to hold negotiations with representatives of the union on Monday.

Over hundreds of nurses have been protesting for the last six days with demands that include an increase in basic pay to Rs. 15,000 in the place of Rs. 6320, 15 % of basic pay to be given as increment every year and hike in night-time allowance.

Notice issued

Thirumalai Nambi, Senior Manager (HR) of Vijaya Hospitals, told The Hindu that notices had been issued to all striking employees asking them to resume work by Monday or face termination.

“We have advised them to come back to work and then go for a negotiation if need be. The three unions signed a settlement with the hospital management in the presence of the Joint Commissioner of Labour (Teynampet) only in March this year,” he said.

The settlement was signed under Section 12 (3) of the Industrial Disputes Act on March 9 with retrospective effect from June 2011. Within a fortnight the hospital management also paid the staff the arrears for nine months. They were satisfied with the settlement. It is an illegal strike as the settlement is for the period till 2014, he said.

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