Shillong, Nov 6: Employees of the GVK EMRI in Meghalaya demanded the resignation of state health minister, A L Hek while pressure groups warned the state government and the company for not serious in addressing the problems though the employees have staged indefinite hunger strike for nine days since October 29 in which 11 of them have been hospitalized so far.
The agitating employees accused Hek of being irresponsible and not serious at all to find solution, and asked him to step down as health minister.
A number of the employees who are agiating under the banner of Meghalaya Emergency Management and Research Institute Workers’ Union (MEMRIWU), have become weak and one of the lady employees had even fainted during the day. However she refused to be taken to hospital.
Strangely, no medical team including doctors was arranged by government to monitor the health of hundreds of the agitating employees.
The inaction and delay on the part of the health minister to resolve the problem, and the warning from the management of GVK EMRI to terminate the employees, have irked the two pressure groups – Khasi Students Union (KSU) and Federation of Khasi Jaiñtia and Garo People (FKJGP).
The KSU and FKJGP warned both the state government and the GVK EMRI to take the responsibility if anything unpleasant happened to the agitating employees.
The GVK EMRI is running the ‘108 ambulance’ services in Meghalaya.
The employees while condemning the GVK for threatening to terminate them from service, said that they would decide their future course of action if the management went ahead to recruit fresh people.
The employees including lady employees shed tears as they spoke about the problems and insensitivity of the government to find solution.
“Our demands are genuine, and not only for our interest, but for the interest of the public who require our services during emergency situations,” Publicity secretary Joseph Pyngrope said.
Among the 36-point of demands, the employees demand enhancement of salary and man power, stop salary cuts, and provide new ambulances for smooth delivery of emergency services to the people of the state.
Questioning the GVK’s move to recruit fresh people, Pyngrope wondered how it can do so overnight, because fresh recruit would require atleast three months training.
“GVK is proudly claiming that it runs emergency services in several states, but it is a big shame as it cannot address small problems being faced by its employees in Meghalaya,” he said.
Adviser of the agitating employees, R Kongwang while stating that the health minister has no responsibility and seriousness in fixing the problems.
“The way Hek is handling things; it only shows that he is not fit as health minister. We demand that it is better for him to step down,” Kongwang said.
KSU president, Lambokstarwell Marngar warned the government for treating the GVK EMRI well, but did not bother to address the plights of the agitating employees.
“It seems the State government is treating GVK EMRI as if its most love child. The government should find solution immediately otherwise, we will be compelled to show action in support of the employees,” Marngar said.
FKJGP leader, Dundee Khongsit held the state government responsible for signing an agreement with the GVK without taking care of the staff interests, and without preventing them from any kind of exploitation by the company’s management.
The FKJGP and KSU strongly warned the GVK fresh people are recruited in the place of the agitating staff without addressing the demands.