After a twelve month fight for improved pay and conditions, nurses clash with Police at the home of an Indian health minister.
An on-going dispute in India between contractual nurses and the state has spilled over into violent clashes with the police.
Around 2000 striking nurses attempted to storm the palatial residence of the health minister, Prasanna Acharya, but they were violently thwarted by security forces who proceeded to hand out beating to the nurses that resulted in many injuries, and over 100 arrests.
The ‘contractual nurses’ are fighting for job security and parity with other colleagues, in terms of pay, working hours, and other conditions. The dispute has been going on for many months, with little or no attempt by the state to discuss the nurse’s demands.
Since last week’s violence, hundreds of desperate nurses have started an indefinite hunger strike. The government has since stated that they will, “Take steps to resolve the dispute”, but nothing has transpired as of yet.
Formally employed nurses across India have been agitating for the last year for an increase in their paltry pay, yet the contracted nurses only earn around 50% of what a regular nurse’s earns.
The state had expected regular nurses, and student nurses to make up the shortfall, yet the regular nurses have either come out on strike in support, or are refusing to undertake extra duties. The Student Nurses have refused to turn up to work at all. Instead they are showing solidarity with the strikers, and are using the dispute to make demands of their own, re their course, and conditions.
Solidarity with the Indian Nurses!!