WARANGAL: Tension prevailed at Warangal’s MGM Hospital after over 600 outsourced staff went on an indefinite strike on Thursday. The staff demanded wages on par with the government employees working in the State-run hospital. They also wanted the removal of the private agency through which they were hired, over non-payment of salaries, bonuses, and Provident Fund (PF).
The police intervened after some of the protesters climbed the hospital building and threatened to kill themselves. Some of the protesters were detained and shifted to Mills Colony and Mattewada police stations. As a result of the strike, the emergency and inpatient wards of the hospital were overflowing with medical waste. The Health Department had sought help from the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) for disposing the medical waste. The contract staff of the hospital objected to this and raised slogans of “Go back GWMC sanitation staff’.
The protesters complained that the Agile Security Force Pvt Ltd, the agency that hired the, has not paid them the salary, bonus, or Provident Fund(PF) on time. Despite making several pleas, the authorities concerned have turned a blind eye and it has become miserable for them to run their homes, the protesters alleged.Speaking to Express, K Jyothi, one of the outsourced hospital workers, said that most of them hail from poor families and face a lot of difficulties when salaries are not paid on time.
“We have not been paid salaries regularly. The management of the outsourcing agency keeps telling us that they will pay the salary soon after their bills are passed by the hospital authorities. We demand the Telangana government to stop utilising services of the agency and pay us salaries on par with contract employees,” said Jyothi.
R Rajesh, an outsourced worker at the surgery department of the hospital, alleged that the agency’s contract period was completed, but the authorities at MGM Hospital had extended it by two months. Though Health Minister Etela Rajender and other officials were apprised of the problems, there has been no response, said Rajesh. He said that the agency would pay a monthly salary of Rs 7,000 and deposit Rs 5,500, after deducting the PF, into the workers’ account. However, some protesters alleged that though the agency is supposed to pay the workers Rs 1,500 every month towards PF, it is only depositing Rs 400.
“We appeal to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to stop the agency system and give us regular job contracts,” said Rajesh. He further said that the State government’s promised bonus for workers on Covid-19 duties was also not given to them. “We still haven’t got a single rupee from the agency,” he said.