Hek reiterates government’s stand on agitating GVK EMRI employees

Shillong, Oct 31: Health minister AL Hek said the state government would take a call on the issue related to emergency services in the state while maintaining that the government has nothing to do with the agitating staff who have been directly engaged by the GVK EMRI.

Employees of the GVK EMRI under the banner of the Meghalaya Emergency Management and Research Institute Workers’ Union (MEMRIWU) are staging an indefinite hunger strike to pressurize the state government to immediately terminate the contract with the GVK EMRI and take over the emergency services to itself.

“The government has not thought about taking over emergency services. If we issue a termination letter, the government will take a decision to outsource to other agencies whoever can run this service,” Hek said.

Four agitating staffs have been hospitalized.

When sought for his reaction on the ongoing agitation, Hek said, “The government has its own rules and procedures to follow. We will exercise our mind and see into it. I have been telling time and again that the government has no role as the employees are directly under the GVK EMRI.”

“I feel pity for them. They are our own citizens and we will not allow this to happen. Whether workers or non-workers, the government cannot allow them to continue with the strike but their demand is not directly with us but with the management who are employing them,” he said.

Admitting that the Essential Services Maintenance (ESMA) Act is yet to be implemented, the health minister said, “we want to settle this amicably but if everything is going out of hand, then only we will implement ESMA.”

He said the state government will take a call if there is no positive response from the GVK EMRI within 60 days.