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Punjab: 108 ambulance service suspended as employees' association stage protest against govt over salaries, working conditions

Ludhiana: The 108 ambulance service remained suspended on Friday after the ambulance staff association staged a state-level indefinite strike at Ladowal near Ludhiana in Punjab demanding better salaries and working conditions.
The 108 ambulance service is managed by a private company that takes people to hospitals free of cost. The employees have urged the state government to absorb them in the health department and pay them salaries on a par with government employees. They alleged that under the present management, they were being exploited and paid less. They also accused the private management of not revising their salaries for the last many years.

Expressing anger, one of the protesting employees said, "108 ambulance service has more than 300 ambulances across the state and around 100 employees, but it is a matter of regret that despite the change of government in the state, the condition of the employees has not changed and still they get only Rs 9,000 as monthly salary."

"We have also given a memorandum several times regarding our demands to the officials. The officials in return gave an ultimatum to the state government by holding a press conference on January 9. But even after 72 hours, no action was taken by the government," the protesting employees added.
They further that they have demanded from the state government that like other states, in Punjab too, instead of giving the contract to the 108 ambulance service, the government should bring it under its jurisdiction and increase the salaries of the employees working in it.
"Some representatives of our association have gone to meet the CM. If the government does not accept our demands, we will be forced to continue the protest for an indefinite time and will also block the National Highway at Ladowal," the protester said. (ANI)

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