PAKISTAN: Health workers’ strike foiled

14 May 2017 Ferado

PESHAWAR, May 11: The Health Employees Council could not hold its planned strike after the district administration on May 10 imposed Section 144, banning strikes at the city’s hospitals and main points such as at the assembly gate, Suray Pull, Jail Road, Circular Road and GT Road.

The strike was called to press the government for giving professional allowance to the paramedics and class-IV employees and transfer of 26 members, including senior union leaders, to the health department from the city’s hospitals. The strike was to be observed at the city’s three major hospitals. However, deputy commissioner, Peshawar, banned holding protests at the city hospitals and some of the public spaces just before the council’s protest.

Police were deployed at the hospitals soon after imposition of Section 144 and soon the protest turned into sit-in.

However, the Health Employees Council said in a statement that complete strike was observed at the Lady Reading Hospital, Khyber Teaching Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex and all the operation theaters, laboratories and radiology and other departments remained closed.

It said that the protesting employees gave the authorities’ time till coming Monday to resolve their issues otherwise the health department and the hospitals’ administration would be responsible for extension of the strike to the whole province and stoppage of emergency cover.