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Ambulance services off in Assam even after staff suspend stir

GUWAHATI: Emergency ambulance services of GVK-EMRI (Assam) remained crippled in the state for the 16th day on Thursday despite a temporary suspension of the cease-work by its employees on Tuesday evening.
The strike, which has taken a toll on emergency transportation of patients to hospitals from home, was called off by the employees till September 21, after a solution to the impasse through deliberations with the chief minister and the health minister on that day, was anticipated by the workers union.
“Our employees were not allowed to log in yesterday on the ground that there were no instructions from the company’s head office in Hyderabad. We had come to know later that the management did not allow us to resume work claiming that we had refused to submit case closure reports. Thereafter, we issued a statement pledging to submit the closure reports to which the management responded by saying that the duty resumption date would be communicated to the employees union later,” Pranjal Sarma, the secretary of the All Assam Mrityunjoy 108 Employees Association, told The Shillong Times on Thursday.
About 3000 employees initiated the strike from the midnight of September 4, demanding salary increment, privilege leave encashment and reduction of duty hours from 12 to eight hours.
“On Thursday also, we were not allowed to log in. There has been no verbal communication. Instead, a notification that the matter of resumption of duty would be communicated to the union was put up at the office,” Sarma said.
Sources in the GVK EMRI management had on Wednesday said that they could not resume the emergency response service because the ambulances were in custody of the district administrations and an audit of the vehicles was needed before pressing them into service again.
The union leader further hoped for a positive outcome after Friday’s meeting with the chief minister and health minister who have assured to look into their problems once they call off the strike.

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