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Ward attenders stage protest on Victoria hospital campus

INDWard attenders stage protest on Victoria hospital campus

As many as 56 ward attenders and group ‘D’ workers who have worked in Victoria hospital for the last 10-25 years and were arbitrarily terminated from services staged a protest on Wednesday under the aegis of the Karnataka General Labour Union (AICCTU).

Demanding that they be provided work immediately, the 56 members, who were outsourced through a contractor,  are also COVID warriors, having risked their lives through the pandemic.

“The terminated workers, mainly women belonging to Dalit and marginalized communities, were asked not to take up work when they arrived in the morning at the hospital as usual. They have been working for 10 to 25 years but have been termed contract workers to deny them their rights, while in fact, they ought to have been treated as permanent workers,” said Maitreyi from Karnataka General Labour Union (AICCTU).

She pointed out that their termination is illegal. Even if the contractor has changed, the law mandates that one outsourced worker cannot be replaced with another worker.

Officials from the Labour Department and the Social Welfare Department visited the protest venue and spoke to the workers and the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) authorities. 

Victoria Hospital Medical Superintendent Deepak S. said the issue was between two contractors. “The previous contractor had hired these workers, and now, with a new contractor taking over, he has hired a new set of workers. They have not been outsourced directly by the hospitals but through a contractor. We will hold a meeting with the previous contractor and the new contractor on Thursday to discuss the issue and sort it out. Following that, a meeting with officials from the Labour Department will also be held,” Dr. Deepak said.

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