Health workers plan hunger strike

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 June 2004, 00:10 GMT]
More than eighty thousand health sector workers struck work Monday in nearly 1270 government medical institutions in Sri Lanka demanding increases in pay for temporary and casual workers, removal of salary anomalies of the Registered Medical Officers (RMO) and integration of provincial health staff into central government service. Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) organized the token strike, sources said.

Trade unions affiliated to the Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) did not participate in the strike, sources said.

Leaders of the HSTUA are to meet Wednesday to decide on further trade union action to win their demands.

According to HSTUA sources, the leaders are to explore the possibility of staging a fast unto death campaign in front of the Central Health Ministry and eight provincial health ministries from this week.

Meanwhile, the National Movement for the Rights of Patients (NMRP) appealed to the HSTUA to call off their strike action or face legal action and public protest campaigns.

"It is a criminal act to launch trade union action by health sector workers at a time when dengue and other diseases are spreading in the country," a spokesman of the NMRP said.

 

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