Strikes and protests in India and the US

While those in the health space in India are disgruntled, in the US, nurses as well as railroad employees are protesting

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There seems to be no dearth of disgruntled employees, especially in the healthcare sector, not just in India but abroad too.

In Kerala, doctors employed by the state government have decided to boycott work today, that is, 13 September, 2022. They are demanding time-bound higher grades, promotion in the ratio of 3:1 and a hike in rural-difficult rural allowance. It is reported that despite repeated assurances, the Health Department has ignored its medical professionals and their grievances.

In Punjab, almost 12,000 National Health Mission (NHM) employees called a day-long strike on 12 September, 2022, demanding that their services be regularised.

Amongst the protestors were 300 employees of NHM, Ludhiana, who refused to turn up for COVID duty choosing instead to be part of the strike. Some of the contractual employees of NHM had worked for nearly 15 years. However, even though staff in some other states, such as Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh had been regularised, contractual staff of NHM in Punjab have yet to be regularised.

Elsewhere in the world, in Minnesota, US, about 15,000 nurses walked out in protest against being overworked due to hospitals being understaffed.

The nurses’ union claims that the increasing workload due to shortage of hands is adversely affecting patient care and has resulted in extreme exhaustion of health workers.

The three-day strike is likely to be the largest one in the healthcare space in the US till date. The functioning of at least 13 hospitals has been disrupted.

Beyond the health sector, a railroad strike is brewing in the US. Some shipments are already being held back. The strike may begin on Friday in case all 13 labour unions, representing about 90,000 workers, fail to arrive at a contract agreement with the National Railway Labour Conference that represents American rail companies.

September 16 is the deadline for the unions and freight railroad companies to arrive at a collective bargaining agreement.

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