Sri Lankan state hospitals paralyzed by strike

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 August 2003, 18:22 GMT]
A one-day token strike launched by about 50,000 members of the Health Services Trade Union Federation (HSTUF) Tuesday disrupted normal services in about 650 State hospitals in Sri Lanka. Health sector employees in all categories except medical officers and nurses struck work from Tuesday morning because, the trade union said, the Heath Ministry had failed to accede to their demand to remove salary anomalies.

The HSTUF secretary, Mr. Saman Ratnapriya, said that the one-day token strike would come to an end on Wednesday morning at 7 a.m.

Mr. Ratnapriya further said, "We have been agitating for a better salary structure by removing salary anomalies prevailing in the health sector employees. But the health ministry is only looking after the interests of medical officers and not other employees working in the hospitals. As a last resort, our federation has decided to take trade union action to win our long-standing demands."

In conducting the strike, the health sector employees have defied the Health Ministry's instruction that their leave had been cancelled until further notice. The Ministry’s secretary has instructed his officials to take stern action against employees who have defied ministry's instruction, sources said.

 

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