Employees of ‘108' ambulance service observed fast in front of the Collectorate here on Thursday, urging the State government to take over the service.
Three sections of employees, including call centre operators, medical technicians and drivers, who formed part of the service, participated in it.
“Services not affected”
District president of the 108 Ambulance Employees' Union told The Hindu that even though they were on fast they saw to it that the services were not affected for the day.
Only those who were “off duty” took part in the hunger strike and therefore, the services were operated as usual.
District president said there are 19 ambulances stationed at various places in Cuddalore district and on an average each ambulance gets five to 10 calls a day from the satellite centre in Chennai.
He sought to dispel the notion that ‘108' ambulance services were run by the government.
On the contrary, these were operated by a private company, GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (GVK EMRI).
The company was giving only consolidated pay of Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 7,000 to employees, who had to work for at least 12 hours a day, in contravention to the universal practice of eight-hour work schedule.
But, they were neither given any additional pay nor any extra off for the extended working hours, District president said.