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 Ministryís secretary has instructed his officials to take stern action
against employees who have defied ministry's instruction, sources said.