Srinagar: The security staff at the Lal Ded maternity hospital in Srinagar is without salary for the last six months, causing immense hardships to them and their families.
This has lead to resentment among the security staff – provided by a private security firm, – who are threatening to go on strike if their rightful dues are not released immediately.
“We are at the forefront of every work but unfortunately our role is always ignored. Our genuine issue is to release our salary which is pending for last six months,” Nahidya Jan, supervisor of the security staff said.
“According to the labor laws we have to work only eight hours but we are working more than that but still we don’t get our salary on time,” she said.
More than 65 personnel, which include security in charge, security supervision and security guards, work at the hospital “as private labourers” for a meager Rs 5200 per month. In most of the cases, the labors have been found to be the only bread-earners of their families.
“Some days before we went to the MS and he said ‘I don’t know you who are you’. If they cannot solve our problem within a day we are going for strike,” said a group of protesting employees.
A private firm, Iqra placement, provided the security staff to the hospital on contract basis. The firm and the hospital authorities are blaming each other for the crisis.
“Few days back we went to the medical superintendent regarding this issue and at that time he said within two days salary will be released but nothing has been done. Later that asked us to go to medical college (GMC) as they receive their salary through medical college and they said ‘we don’t have budget till November you have to wait for the salary’,” Abdul Rashid Field Officer of the Iqra Placement said.
Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr. Nazir Malik told Kashmir Reader that the problem will be solved “within few days”
“They will receive their salary within couple of days. It has been done by their private firms who have actually hired them,” Dr Malik said.
While the hospital and the firm trade blame, the poor employees face the music.
“I am not able to pay school fee of my children. My family pressure me to leave this job but, I have three children how I can leave this job as this is the only source of my livelihood,” one of the employees said.