More than 2000 nurses and paramedical staff of Apollo Hospitals, MMM Hospital and Fortis Malar Hospital inChennai came out on the streets yet again, demanding just salaries for their hard work.
These same nurses had agitated in the first week of March for these demands. Till date, the management of these hospitals appeared to turn a deaf year, but with the latest strike, the managements of all three hospitals have agreed to their demands.
This strike action has inspired about 450 nurses of PSG Medical hospital in Coimbatore. They too, came out on strike with similar demands and fought for weeks together. But so far, the hospital management has been very adamant and is demanding that the strike be fully withdrawn before they can consider any of the nurses’ demands.
Meanwhile nurses at the Voluntary Health Services (VHS) at Chennai were on strike for better wages and working condition. They have been fighting for over a month. More recently, the nurses of Vijaya Hospital went on strike with the demand for better wages.
The management of all these hospitals – Apollo, MMM, Fortis Malar and Vijaya are raking in huge amounts of money and yet pay their nurses a very miserable salary. The nurses have to work in the hospital at all hours of day or night, often for more than 12 hours at a stretch, in emergency conditions, and are forced to live in hostels that are overcrowded.
The savage exploitation of nurses in our country is carried out using the vulnerable position of nurses in society. They are working women, many living far away from their homes, from where they have migrated in search of livelihood. The managements use every means possible to prevent the nurses from organizing themselves into unions to defend their rights. In such conditions, the fact that the nurses of different hospitals of Tamilnadu have taken the path of organizing themselves into unions and fighting for their just demands is a positive development.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar supports the just struggles of the nurses for better wages and working conditions.