Several workers including housekeeping staff, ward attenders, lift operators, data entry operators and security guards took part in the protest.

Victoria hospital workers protesting
news Protest Monday, November 29, 2021 - 14:57

Amuda works as a ward attendant in Bengaluru’s Victoria Hospital, earning Rs 10,000 a month. A widow, with a daughter studying in Class 10, Amuda has been forced to pull her only child out of school because authorities did not pay her salary from October. “Our duty ends at 4.30 pm each day but we are forced to work till 8 pm on many days when there is a serious case. Still, I haven't been given my salary since October. So, salaries of two months (October and November) are pending. With such a situation I've had to pull my daughter out of school,” she said.

Amuda is one of several people — housekeeping staff, ward attenders, lift operators, data entry operators and security guards, who are facing a similar situation and had gathered for a protest at Victoria Hospital on Monday, November 29.

Another member of the housekeeping staff — Meenakshi, who earns Rs 14,000 has also not been paid since October 2021. Her children too, have been sent home by their school for non-payment of fees. She said that the COVID-19 pandemic has made her financial difficulties worse and that not receiving payment makes it very difficult to manage her house. “I have children with disabilities I need to take care of. I need to pay my bills and my house rent. We are not asking for their money. We only want what we have earned through our hard work,” Meenakshi says.

Meenakshi says that they had been assured of a COVID-19 allowance in 2020. However, she has not received any of it till date. She adds that they had earlier protested asking for their pending salaries but the officials have allegedly been stalling the payment. “A week ago, we protested and approached the authorities and they told us that the salary will come in two days, but it hasn't come till now,” she says.

Staging a protest and raising slogans on Monday, the workers also demanded that henceforth, their salaries should be paid before the 7th of every month.

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