Delhi HC restrains AIIMS Nurses Union from continuing strike

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday restrained the Nurses Union of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi from continuing with their indefinite strike till January 18, the next date of hearing in the matter.

A bench of Justice Navin Chawla directed the Nurses Union to restrain from continuing the strike after AIIMS, Delhi submitted that the grievances of the Union were being considered by the authorities concerned.

The bench also sought a response from the Nurses Union on the petitioner filed by the AIIMS administration against the strike, called by the Nurses Union over their long-pending demands, including that related to the Sixth Central Pay Commission.

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The strike was illegal and in violation of the Industrial Disputes Act, AIIMS said in its plea before the High Court. It said that the strike by the nurses violated an order earlier passed by the court prohibiting any such action by AIIMS employees.

The petition was filed after approximately 3,500 nursing strength of the hospital went on an indefinite strike on Monday, sitting at the hospital premises shouting slogans, holding placards, amid the pandemic.

It sought directions to the protesting union to go back to work, especially in the present time, as it said the whole hospital had come to a standstill.

Advocate VSR Krishna, appearing for AIIMS, submitted that it had no role to play in the resolution of nurses’ demand pertaining to the Sixth Pay Commission and the strike was a pressure-building tactic.

He said the strike also violated a High Court order prohibiting such action by AIIMS employees. It was stated that as per the order, there could be no sloganeering, dharna on the AIIMS campus.

Lawyer apprised the court that Nurses left their jobs and all clinical work. “It is a COVID hospital,” Krishna said. The court was also informed that all the grievances raised by the nurses were being looked into in a sympathetic manner.

On the other hand, the strike has left patients’ families outside the emergency ward stand clueless about what is to be done. Some of the family members of patients said they were not being allowed inside and sought to know who was taking care of the patients.

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