GVK EMRI employees ready to call off strike if eight demands are addressed

Shillong, Nov 1: The Meghalaya Emergency Management and Research Institute Workers’ Union (MEMRIWU) has expressed its willingness to call off the indefinite hunger strike on condition that eight of the 36-point charter of demands are addressed by the state government and the management.

The demand was placed before the health minister AL Hek during a meeting with him on Friday.

Emergency services across the state have come to a standstill after over 200 field staffs of the GVK EMRI have ceased work for the past one month and they are now staging a hunger strike for the last four days.

Eight agitating staffs have been hospitalized.

The MEMRIWU has conveyed to the government that it was ready for talks to resolve the stalemate.

After the meeting, the health minister told reporters that the delegation has sought the intervention of the state government on the need to immediately address at least eight points out of the 36-point charter of demands.

The eight points include working hours, working condition, leave policy, 100 percent salary enhancement, 30 percent annual increment, clearing the arrear pending since 2017, maintenance of ambulances and safety working condition for women staffs.

“I have assured them that I will take up the matter with the GVK EMRI management,” Hek said.

Whether the state government would invite the management and the agitating employees for talks, hek said that he would first need to understand the mind of the management with regards to the eight points before calling them for talks.

He also admitted that some of the demands are genuine especially those related to the need to ensure transfer based on region wise and safety of women.

Hek also informed that he had requested the agitating staff to suspend their hunger strike but they refused to listen.

President of the MEMRIWU, Roypar Kharraswai also broke down while speaking to reporters and urged the state government to step in and resolve the problems faced by the employees.

“We are ready to end this stalemate if our demands are fulfilled,” he choke as he said.

The MEMRIWU wanted the management to consider enhancing the salary by 100 percent, providing adequate manpower.

On the other hand, FKJGP general secretary Dundee C Khongsit slammed the state government for blindly signing the agreement with the GVK EMRI without keeping in mind the interest of the employees.

“We have suggested the government to come up with clear cut policy to prevent exploitation of local workers as this seems to be missing in the agreement,” he said.

On the demand that the state government should take over the emergency services, Khongsit said that the health minister has assured to take up the matter in the state Cabinet.

He also informed that in case the GVK EMRI management refused to resolve the issue within 60 days, the government will take a call on terminating the contract.

The FKJGP leader also said that the state government should not forget the employees in case it decided to handover the emergency services to other companies.

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