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Strike at “Mothers” Hospital, Thrissur

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Thrissur: The functioning of “Mothers” hospital Thrissur came to a standstill following the strike organized by the nurses. The nurses who are on an indefinite strike have demanded for pay hike and decrease in work load. The strike is being held under the aegis of the nurses association. Nursing students have also joined the protest. More than 250 nurses are said to be participating in the strike.
The hospital had recently released 21 nurses from duty after the abolishing of bond system. The hospital now does not have the required number of staff. The entire burden now rests on the shoulders of the remaining 250 nurses working at the hospital. The nurses have alleged that they are underpaid. Though the matter was adressed before the hospital management they have not taken the issue seriously.

Earlier a similar strike was organized by nurses in Kollam. 280 nurses of Kollam Shankar’s hospital had gone on a strike raising the same demands.

KOCHI: In a turn of events that could well give a political colour to the ongoing nurses strike, a number of political outfits have joined the striking nurses at the Kolenchery MOSC Medical College.

While several groups, including the BJP and the Shiv Sena, have declared a hartal in Kolenchery on Wednesday, the Youth Congress held a protest march to the hospital on Tuesday.

The All-India Nurses Welfare Association, which is holding the strike at Kolenchery MCH, has declared that a ‘Samara Samithi’ will be formed with the participation of the various outfits that have declared solidarity with the strike. “Several organisations have pledged solidarity with us. We will be forming a Samara Samithi with these organisations to take the movement forward,” said the State Secretary of the association, Shivprasad Unni.

Tuesday also witnessed the failure of yet another round of talks between the hospital authorities and the union. “The hospital agreed to implement some of our demands but put forth the condition that we must end the strike if further discussions are to take place. They have called for another round of discussions on February 9. We are willing to take part in it,” he said.

Social activist C R Neelakantan who visited the hospital said,“This issue has gone beyond the local level. If the impasse continues any longer, we will also join the nurses on the fast.” The fast entered the 5th day on Tuesday.

Meanwhile in Lakeshore Hospital too, several political parties, including the AIYF, Kerala Congress (Jacob), the BJP and several trade unions have pledged solidarity with the nurses. The United Nurses Welfare Association conducted a candlelight vigil at Lakeshore Hospital. About 700 nurses walked up to the Nettor Palli from the hospital and back.

The IMA denied their earlier statement about seeking ESMA against striking nurses. The IMA, however, said that crucial medical personnel, including doctors and nurses should deter from protesting in a way that affects emergency services.

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