India: More than 40,000 Karnataka health workers started strikes throughout the state that were not limited; Pakistani doctors protest and Sri Lankan nurses demand overtime pay
Worker Struggle: Asia and Australia
July 18, 2020
India: Karnataka health workers start strikes across the state indefinitely
Around 42,000 accredited Social Health Accreditation (ASHA) workers in the state of Karnataka began an indefinite strike on July 10 to demand a fixed salary of 12,000 rupees (US $ 160) per month and permanent employment. ASHA workers are currently only paid a salary of 4,000 rupees by the state government.
ASHA workers claim that technical problems continue to prevent them from entering their work activity data into the government computer payment system, which results in inadequate or non-existent wages. In January, striking ASHA workers returned to work after the state government mistakenly assured them that the authorities would consider their demands.
Strike ASHA workers have threatened to expand their actions to mass resignations if their demands are not granted.
Meanwhile, AYUSH contract doctors (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) also threatened to resign if the authorities failed to increase their salaries and make their jobs permanent.
Ghandi Hospital workers in Telangana held a joint protest
About 800 contract workers, including sanitation workers, security guards and patient care officers, demonstrated outside the Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on Tuesday to demand permanent employment and increase wages. It was part of a three day protest by workers demanding better working conditions and improved facilities. The police arrested a number of demonstrators, then released them at night.
The government-run Gandhi Hospital is the main center in Hyderabad for those infected with COVID-19. Around 200 nurses continued their protest which began on July 11, inside the hospital. They demand that the government honor previous commitments to increase their salary levels.
Bihar ambulance workers attacked the police to attack his colleagues
Members of 102 Ambulance Association in Samastipur, Bihar state left work on July 11 to protest alleged police beating two ambulance employees who were transporting a patient to the hospital. The reason for the police attack has not been reported.
Ambulance workers demonstrate at the hospital and present a memorandum about the police attack to the Health Committee. They said they would continue to strike indefinitely until action was taken against police officers.
Attacked soybean processing workers in Andhra Pradesh fired
About 92 contract workers who went on strike from the Ruchi Soya Industries factory in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh were dismissed on Wednesday. They have been on strike for seven days demanding payment of an extraordinary four-year bonus, an increase in the minimum wage, payment of social security, state employment insurance benefits and company compliance with labor laws at the factory. They have protested outside the electoral area and processing factory.
The workers are contracted by Sudhakar Industrial Services and part of a 350-strong workforce at the facility.
Haryana’s car worker protested the dismissal
Workers from several automotive manufacturing units at the Manesar-Gurgaon industrial center in Haryana state, demonstrated outside the deputy commissioner’s office on Thursday against the sacking of thousands of employees. The protesters alleged that car companies used COVID-19 locking and economic slowdown to dismiss workers and cut wages.
More than 10 unions and 100 representatives presented memorandums calling for action against nine different manufacturing units.
The protesters accuse labor department officials of cooperating with companies and management who have not paid wage settlement or agreed repairs before locking.
Tamil Nadu public sector workers protest in Madurai
Tamil Nadu government officials demonstrated outside the Madurai Collectorate on Tuesday on several charges. This includes the provision of proper bus transportation to the villages and cities of origin of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the Tamil Nadu Government Employees Association demand that workers who surrender to COVID-19 be compensated and all frontline workers are given personal protective equipment (PPE).
Demonstrators also called on the government to withdraw its decision to freeze Dearness Allowance (DA) until July 2021, cancel the agreement to pay for 15 days of paid leave and prohibit workers from taking vacations during the pandemic. Panchayat’s assistants (local government), librarians, money workers, and other employees on a wage-based time scale also demand periodic payment of their wages.
Pakistani doctors protest in Islamabad
Doctors from the government-run Institute of Medical Sciences of Pakistan (PIMS) in Islamabad on Monday protested to demand immediate payment of risk benefits and salary increases announced in September 2019. The Young Doctors Association (YDA) ignored threats by hospital administrators who were “decisive action” “Will be taken against doctors who protest.
The doctor’s protest was the latest in a series by PIMS medical staff and included actions by nursing students for non-payment of benefits and for the provision of personal protective equipment. According to one media report, 200 workers in the hospital had been infected with COVID-19 and three died of a deadly disease.
YDA later canceled the protest claiming that officials from the Ministry of Health agreed to address their problem.
Sri Lanka: Nurses at Kandy hospital demand overtime pay
About 300 nurses from the 2,300-bed Kandy General Hospital in Central Sri Lanka, demonstrated outside the facility on Monday to demand overtime payments according to the agreed-upon payment scale for the pandemic period. Nurses say that they have worked four to eight additional hours but have not been paid according to salary levels.
The Kandy nurse protest is the latest in a series of struggles launched by nurses in many parts of Sri Lanka against canceling overtime pay and leave paid during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bangladeshi garment workers demand unpaid salaries
More than 2,000 garment workers from the Dipta Clothing factory in the Shampur region of Savar, Bangladesh, protested outside their factory on Sunday demanding unpaid salaries for June and the reopening of the factory. They blocked the local road for several hours.
Factory management announced a three-day factory closure on July 1, blaming the decline in orders but later announced that the closure was not limited, claiming electricity had been cut off to the factory.
Workers also demanded extraordinary bonus payments and July Eid holiday benefits. The workers are members of the Bangladesh Garments and the Shilpa Sramik Federation and the National Garment Workers Federation.
Bangladeshi university teacher protested the dismissal and extraordinary salary
Teachers from several private universities in Bangladesh have protested by filing a complaint with the University Grants Commission for their termination and not paying salaries.
The teachers said that the university authorities had taken full tuition fees from students for online classes but only paid a portion of the employees from their salary during the locking of COVID-19 in March or not at all. Some universities fired teachers during the COVID-19 crisis, claiming bankruptcy due to fewer student admissions.
Tasmanian tree trimmer workers locked
Nine workers from A1 Trees Services, a tree pruning company in Tasmania, were locked up by management on Tuesday in a dispute over their first company agreement. The lockout was in response to a low-level work ban imposed by members of the Electricity Trade Union (ETU).
Police were called to the picket line of workers outside the company depot in Devonport on Wednesday morning after the owner of the company drove his vehicle to the picket, injuring two workers and injuring one of them.
According to a union spokesman, workers are only paid a flat rate below the minimum reward level without compensation or penalty payments. He alleges that workers owe hundreds of dollars for underpaid wages. Workers want to pay parity and rights with other workers in the industry and compensation for past underpayments.
Chemical Warehouse distribution workers refused to enter the Melbourne facility due to COVID-19 infection
Workers at the Chemical Warehouse Distribution Center in Somerton, Melbourne refused to enter the site on July 10 after learning that a colleague tested positive for COVID-19. According to the United Workers Union (UWU) infected workers and five others have gone into exile, although there is a possibility that up to 100 staff working in the same shift can make contact with confirmed cases.
While the Chemical Warehouse management demanded that work be continued as usual, workers insisted that facilities be closed for cleaning. Management also stated that employees who refused to work exercised their own rights, forced casual employees and others with limited rights to choose between supporting their family finances or jeopardizing their health.
The union has demanded that all workers at the site be given pandemic leave until they can get a negative COVID test and that the facility is closed for 72 hours to allow for deep cleaning. Although this issue is a matter of occupational health and safety at work, the union has not taken industrial action despite complaining that the company has provided very few details about the accuracy of the cleaning process.