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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

CATS employees call off ambulance strike after 75 days

The employees went on a strike after a new contractor was hired by the government. They demanded they be inducted into government services, be given proper benefits, and paid all the dues.

cities Updated: Sep 14, 2019 04:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
The employees went on a strike after a new contractor was hired by the government.
The employees went on a strike after a new contractor was hired by the government.(HT image)
         

The 75 days old strike by around 1,300 contractual employees of the government run ambulance service —Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS) – was called off on Friday.

The ambulance services had been severely affected with only about 90 of the 265 ambulances on the road. The employees on strike included ambulance drivers and para-medical staff.

“The services were being managed by some new workers who had been hired by the new contractor,”said a Delhi government official, on condition of anonymity.

The employees went on a strike after a new contractor was hired by the government. They demanded they be inducted into government services, be given proper benefits, and paid all the dues.

The strike was called off after receiving the minutes of the meeting with the Delhi health minister and labour minister on Wednesday.

“The meeting with the government was very fruitful. The health minister said that the salaries of two months and ten days owed to us by the previous contractor will be released within 10 days. The government will also ensure that we get medical and casual leave and weekly off,” Narendra Singh Lakra, president of the CATS contractual employees association, said.

Regarding the employees in the government services, the ministers have given a verbal assurance to them. “The ministers said that it was not possible to immediately take us into government service, but it will eventually, get done as per the recommendations of the Delhi contractual labour advisory board that had suggested that CATS and Delhi Jal Board employees be inducted as permanent staff,” said Lakra.

The government has also agreed to take in all of the striking employees will be absorbed by the new contractor.

“Apart from that, the minutes of the meeting clearly state that the 430 employees who were employees by CATS directly and were asked to join services under new contractor. They will continue to be CATS employees,” he said.

The government has also constituted a committee of officers from the labour department, officers of CATS, and representatives of CATS staff union that will meet every three months to ensure all the benefits promised are actually being received.