Over 22,000 casual and contractual workers of the 157 state-run hospitals have been living with a hope of getting their share of payment ever since the new government had started its term.
Even though they were promised the minimum rights of a fixed wage, shifting duties and weekly leaves, it has still not worked out and the workers are still insecure for their future. In another 10-12 days, the workers will march to the health department headquarters demanding their rights.
Members aligned to the All-Bengal Hospital Patients' Welfare and Contractual Workers Association reportedly placed their demands on Thursday, by writing a letter to the state ministers and the chief ministers.
"It took one year for the government to give out circular notices for tenders to employ these workers, scavenging staff, generator and liftman workers, but they still remain unemployed in 16 districts of Bengal," Biswanath Chakraborty, chief adviser of the association said.
"On June 11, the order was carried out in 27 hospitals thus partially working out the plan. Yet half of the workingclass population is still jobless. We want to ask the highly placed bureaucrats, why this discrimination?
We will march to the headquarters of the health department soon to place this question in front of the officials. We demand stability for all the Group D workers," he said.
Even after the order of implementing the basic labour rules on these workers, several of them were forced to continue working in the same conditions, in the state-run hospitals such as SSKM and other medical colleges.
"The kitchen department officials forced the workers to work 24 hours a day, with a pay of R1500-R2000 per month, even after the order was passed," Barun Das, president of the association said. Denied a fixed, the health workers have been dreading an uncertain future.