India’s frontline warriors fight for salaries

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About 160 nurses of the Valmiki Infectious Disease Hospital, under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North DMC), are on a strike demanding that their salaries for the past three months be paid immediately. These protestors will be joined by the contractual nursing staff of Kasturba Hospital and Hindu Rao Hospital with effect from November 5.

Considering that these very health workers have been working hard day and night, risking their lives amidst the pandemic, it is shameful that they have to resort to a strike to get what they deserve. The regular nursing staff of Kasturba hospital, Hindu Rao hospital, Girdharilal Maternity hospital, Rajan Babu TB hospital are already on indefinite strike since November 2.

Meanwhile, down south, in Tirupati, almost a 1,000 COVID staff working in various capacities have been protesting against non-payment of salaries for six months. These nurses, doctors, female nursing orderlies (FNOs), male nursing orderlies (MNOs), stretcher bearers and other paramedical staff were recruited on orders by the government in two batches. The first batch has completed six months, while the second has completed two months. While the doctors and nurses have not received salaries for about three months, the FNOs and MNOs haven’t been paid for six months, despite the fact that these medical workers have been putting in over eight hours of work tending to COVID patients.

The members of the Andhra Pradesh Municipal Workers Association (APMWA) have also been staging protests demanding the release of their salaries, which have been pending for three months now. suffered with Covid-19.