KANNUR: The 60-day-old strike by the employees of Kannur Medical College, Anajarakkandy, was called off following the talks held by Labour Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan with the management and strikers in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. The management agreed to pay minimum wages to the employees, including contract staff, as per the existing hospital rules. The bonus will be decided by an arbitration committee headed by the labour commissioner within one month.
The employees took out a victory procession on the college campus and will formally announce the withdrawal of the strike on Saturday. During the five-hour talks, KMC chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar Haji said that the management wanted an amicable solution to the issue. The strikers were represented by CPM state committee member M.V. Jayarajan, CITU state secretary K.P. Sahadevan and Kannur district hospital and medical shop employees union secretary V.V. Balakrishnan.
The strike by 99 employees in the KMC hospital demanding minimum wages and bonus was launched on September 13. The college management filed an affidavit in the High Court saying it may be forced to shift the college to Malappuram if the protest continued. In reply, CITU state secretary K.P. Sahadevan warned that the CITU, which led the strike, has workers in Malappuram too. Later, the CPM officially endorsed the protest and staged a procession in support of the strike which was inaugurated by district secretary P. Jayarajan.
A series of reconciliations talks held earlier by labour and police officials had failed. Even the meeting called by the labour minister on Monday did not produce any results after the KMC chairman refused to attend it. The minister then directed him to attend it on Friday. KMC principal Dr. S. Muneeruddin Ahmed said that he expected to begin classes from Monday. The students lacked practical classes after the hospital was shut down indefinitely....