Striking Nightingales raise their stakes

by Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) yesterday accused the government of using strong-arm tactics to crush a strike launched by the nurses of the Sri Jayawardenapura General Hospital (SJGH) against a biometric attendance system.

Deputy President Chairman PSUNU, R. K. Batuwita blamed the government for seeking judicial intervention in a bid to derail a legitimate workers’ struggle. He said, however, that the PSUNU held the judiciary in high esteem and in no way sought to insult it.

The PSUNU has since demanded that Medical Director of SJGH, Dr Susith Senaratne be removed from his position. Batuwita alleged that the Director was merely trying to cover up his wrongdoing by introducing new systems.

Chairman of the All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU), Gamini Kumarasinghe said the nurses strike would continue. The minor employees of the hospital, too, had pledged their support to the nurses strike action, he said.

Dr. Senaratne, contacted for comment, said the allegations leveled against him by the PSUNU were baseless.

A fiscal officer delivered the restraining order issued by the Nugegoda District Court yesterday. The director said he expected the striking nurses to resume their duties without further delay.

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