Kochi

Nurses' strike continues at two hospitals

The ongoing strike by nurses at the Lakeshore Hospital demanding minimum wages would continue, despite the Labour Department stating that Sunday's conciliation talks ended in a positive note.

The talks mediated by the Regional Labour Office to resolve the standoff between nurses and the management of Lakeshore Hospital ended in a positive note, said Vincent Alex, Regional Joint Labour Commissioner.

“We will continue the strike till the hospital takes positive action,” said a representative of the United Nurses' Association that is leading the strike at the hospital.

Mr. Alex said that the Lakeshore management had agreed to abide by the government's directions on the issue, though a decision on fixing the salaries could be taken only at the hospital governing board's meeting.

Jasmin Sha, the president of the nurses' association, said that the nurses at Lakeshore had decided to continue the strike. This is because the management wanted the nurses to return to work on the surety provided by the Labour Department to review the works and wages of nurses in the private sector, he said.

The department would also mediate the talks between the management of Kolenchery Medical College Hospital and the nurses on strike there, on Monday.

The striking nurses at the Kolenchery Hospital on Sunday held a rally around the town seeking support for their demand for fair wages.

The nurses on strike at Lakeshore Hospital got the support of more organisations in their cause, with the representatives of Indian Nurses Parents' Association giving them public support.

The Overseas Indian Cultural Congress, Ireland, in a statement has lent support to the nurses, asking the hospital managements to stop exploiting the nurses.

The strike is into the ninth day at Kolenchery hospital and seventh day at Lakeshore and has affected the functioning of both the hospitals. According to the nurses, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John's assurance that the government would not evoke ESMA against the nursing service has come as a major support for them, since their demand is to stop exploitation by hospitals that are violating norms.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 5:33:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/nurses-strike-continues-at-two-hospitals/article2865441.ece

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