People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 31

August 04 , 2013



CITU Condemns Repression of AP Ambulance Employees


THROUGH a statement issued from New Delhi, July 27, 2013, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) denounced the brutal repression let loose on the striking 4075 Ambulance Service Employees under the “108” scheme, since July 18, 2013. These employees have been subjected to mass scale dismissal, arrests and police repression by the government of Andhra Pradesh in favour of Messrs GVK which runs the service.


The statement noted that the strike was not a sudden one. The concerned workers union had given due notice for the strike after having contacted the GVK management and the labour department of the state government for more than a year. The strike was resorted to only after the GVK management and the state government failed to redress their genuine grievances and ensure implementation of the law of the land in respect of working hours.  


One must note that these ambulance workers are being made to work for 12 hours a paltry wage of Rs 8,000 a month and without any compensation whatsoever for the extra hours of work. The state government has been financing the entire expenditure of 108 Ambulance Service but allowing the GVK to run the service and mint profit out of the scheme by forcing the workers to work for 12 hours at paltry wages and no overtime etc. However, instead of intervening to discipline and prevail upon the GVK management to sort out the burning issues of working hours and wages with the concerned workers’ union, the state government has been indulging and patronising the GVK in its brazenly unlawful activity of treating the 108 Ambulance Service workers as forced labour.


Since the strike began, more than 700 employees have been arrested and 256 were summarily dismissed. Repression and victimisation of the workers is still going on.


While condemning such an anti-workers approach of the Andhra Pradesh government in favour of GVK, the CITU has demanded that the state government must intervene to ensure that all the arrested workers are released and all the dismissed workers are reinstated. The state government must also prevail upon the GVK to sort out the issues in respect of working hours and wages with the workers’ union within the framework of the law of the land. Further, the state government must seriously think about directly running the 108 Ambulance Service through its own administration instead of allowing the GVK to mint profits out of a state funded welfare scheme.


The CITU has urged upon the working class and trade union movement to extend solidarity to the striking workers of 108 Ambulance Services in Andhra Pradesh.