Contract health workers strike in Chattisgarh, ESMA imposed

The workers participating in the protests contend that the imposition of ESMA lacks an emergency-like situation and portray it as a dictatorial stance by the government


Contractual health workers in Chhattisgarh are facing the imposition of the essential services maintenance act (ESMA) by the state government. This act grants authorities the power to take action, including potential job termination, against employees who participate in strikes. The regular health workers’ strike was called off after assurances from the state health minister.

On July 12, the state president of the contract workers’ organisation announced the water satyagrah, a protest staged by 15 health workers from different districts. However, on Tuesday night, the Chhattisgarh government imposed ESMA on the contractual employees of the health department, leading to anger among the protesters. They believe the government has imposed the act to break the strike.

The employees have expressed their determination to continue the strike despite the imposition of ESMA, refusing to succumb to government pressure. In response, the Chhattisgarh state government has ordered all collectors to take strict action against the striking health employees, including those refusing to work and disrupting essential services.

Previously, similar actions were taken against employee organisations in the state, but no significant measures were implemented. The protesting workers argue that ESMA is being imposed without an emergency-like situation, characterising it as a dictatorial attitude of the government. They point out that the health department’s work is always considered compulsory service and is of utmost importance, yet no action has been taken to address their demands.


Comment on the Article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

18 − 2 =