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Updated: March 8, 2012 03:17 IST

Striking Fortis Malar nurses return to work

R. Sujatha
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Management presents revised package to Labour Department

It was an eventful Wednesday for the striking nurses as over 1,000 of them — 800 from Apollo Hospitals and 200 from Fortis Malar Hospitals — sat in protest outside the Memorial Hall in Park Town. They were joined by representatives of Communist parties, women's organisations and trade unions. The nurses spoke of their hard life and held placards that provided the break-up of the salary they received from the hospitals.

In the evening, nurses at Fortis Malar were pleasantly surprised when the management presented a revised salary package to the Labour Department. According to the striking nurses, the management had also agreed to pay dearness allowance along with the enhanced salary. The nurses, however, said that they would continue to support the cause of their counterparts in Apollo Hospitals.

The Tamil Nadu Medical Workers' Federation, which organised Wednesday's protest meeting, has called for setting up of an expert committee to decide on the salary, working condition, working hours and the problems faced by nurses in both private and government hospitals. Representatives of the CPI, CPI(M), National Federation of Indian Women and All India Trade Union Congress, supported the call for forming of an expert committee.

Federation State president G.R. Ravindranath said the demands made by the nurses must be accepted by hospital managements. “They are demanding Rs. 17,000 per month as salary and only eight hours of duty. The nurses' certificates must be returned and they must be provided experience certificate when they leave the hospital. The two private hospitals should accept these demands made by the nurses,” he said. “We have sought the intervention of the State government to form the expert committee, which should also look into the patient-nurse ratio,” Dr. Ravindranath said.

CPI (M) member of Parliament T.K. Rangarajan, CPI State secretary D. Pandian, AITUC general secretary T.M. Murthi, NFIW state president R. Suseela and human rights activist A. Marx participated in the protest meeting.

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