'108' drivers, paramedics refuse to sign pact, continue protest

'108' drivers, paramedics refuse to sign pact, continue protest

Employees call on CM, get assurance on resolving issues

'108' drivers, paramedics refuse to sign pact, continue protest

As many as 1,800 drivers and paramedics of 108 Arogya Kavacha service are continuing their protest against the management (GVK EMRI) and have refused to sign the undertaking as asked by the company.

The drivers and paramedics of GVK EMRI have been protesting since Monday that the company pay them the salaries that they deserve and also pay them over-time charges for the service they render beyond eight hours.

A team from Pavagad in Tumakuru district gave a representation to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in this regard on Tuesday. The association is supported by former minister Goolihatti Shekar. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Shrishail Hallur, State president, ‘108’ Ambulance Drivers Association, said that the chief minister had sought to meet them after they began the protest on Monday.

“He has assured us that he will talk to the health minister and get our issues resolved,” Hallur said. While as many as 1,800 members are sitting on a protest at Freedom Park, another 1,800 are on duty, Hallur said.

“We have no intention of affecting patient care. Hence, only a group of us are protesting, while the others will not refrain from work,” he added.

It may be recalled that GVK EMRI, on Monday, had asked the drivers to sign a nine-point memorandum failing which they were threatened to be fired. Hallur said that out of the nine points, they have disagreed on three terms.

“They have told us not to talk to the media or the government about our grievances in the future. They have also said that we cannot refrain from work or stage a protest come what may. Who do we approach if we have problems?. It is like snatching our basic constitutional rights. Funds have been released by government for pay hikes. We just want the money that we deserve,” he added.

GVK EMRI, on Tuesday, said that 900 drivers and paramedics had been asked to sign a memorandum, failing which they would be sacked. Syed Suhale Parveez, senior manager of GVK EMRI, said that the decision was taken after the employees had failed to heed several warnings.

Parveez could not be reached when Deccan Herald tried to contact him on Tuesday.