Ziqitza Healthcare, an Amritsar-based healthcare company, on Tuesday moved the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking directions to the Employees’ Association 108 (emergency ambulance service in Punjab) for restraining its around 1,200 members from resorting to a strike so that the emergency medical services are not paralysed in the state.
The Punjab government had in 2012 outsourced the recruitment of drivers and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) for ‘108’ emergency ambulance service through Ziqitza Healthcare.
After hearing the plea, the vacation court headed by justice Naresh Kumar Sanghi issued a notice of motion to the Punjab government as well as the association for filing their replies by June 26 on the company’s submissions. The company submitted that as the employees’ association had earlier resorted to a strike last month, it was likely to again go on strike.
However, the high court had on June 6 put a stay on the state government and the company’s process of terminating the services of association members and making fresh recruitment through the notification dated May 25. Earlier, the association had moved the high court seeking directions for restraining the state gover nment and the company from either terminating the services of the association members or from recruiting afresh drivers or EMTs on the ground that the petitioner association was agitating for the valid and legal cause.
Association members had been claiming that they were made to work for even 12 hours a day but were not being paid overtime charges beyond the statutory time of eight hours’ duty. It was also submitted that the company had been deducting provident fund from the salary of drivers without any record with the employees as to where such money was being deposited.
The employees had challenged the decision on the ground that the job of its members was of perennial nature that contractor could not execute.