Health trade unions resort to token strike


28 health trade unions launched a strike action this morning based on several demands.

They charge that health staff have not been granted facilities in order to conduct COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Saman Rathnapriya, the Head of Government Nursing Officers Association said emergency and essential services would be provided to coronavirus-infected persons despite their trade union action.

According to reports, the meeting held with the health minister on Wednesday (June 09) was unfruitful and the major demands of the Health Trade Union Federation, except the request to make assistant health workers permanent employees, have failed to meet with acceptable solutions.

Thereby, all trade unions of the federation unanimously agreed to go ahead with the strike action today.

Rathnapriya said around 125,000 health workers excluding doctors are engaged in the strike action.

He attributed the strike action to the failure by the Health Ministry to provide PPE kits and N95 masks including transportation facilities for health workers, adding they spend between Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000 in order to report to work.

He questioned why health officials are unable to provide necessary facilities citing there are no concerns in settling overtime payments of doctors.

Rathnapriya said nursing staff, supplementary staff, additional medical staff, junior medical staff and clerical staff are part of today’s union action.