Drivers of the 108 ambulance service by the GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute observed a fast in front of the Gandhipuram Central bus stand on Thursday seeking that their demands for ensuring better working conditions be conceded.
In the event of their struggle not yielding results, the drivers and paramedical staff have planned to mobilise the ambulance drivers of EMRI 108 across the State and resort to a relay fast.
The drivers had already petitioned the District Collector on July 11 and had on July 13 held talks for resolving the demands and issues placed by them.
The ambulance drivers' demand that their working hours i.e., shift timings be reduced from 12 hours to 8 hours and for the additional hours of work put in demanded overtime allowance or incentive. They also demanded a transparent holiday system. They also demanded health protection considering the nature of work that they were involved in.
They also demanded respectable treatment rather than treating them as slaves by making frequent transfers. The other demands included accounts for the Employees State Insurance Corporation deductions made in their salary, besides the statements for the funds remitted to the Provident Fund account of each employee, minimum salary of Rs. 10,000 per month besides travelling allowance, city compensatory allowance and washing allowance considering the spiralling price of essential commodities and cost of living.
They also sought proper places for parking the ambulances and basic amenities such as convenience for the staff and proper systems for maintenance of ambulances.