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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Hospital workers in northern Sri Lanka strike for better

[b]Hospital workers in northern Sri Lanka strike for better conditions[/b]

More than 50 contract cleaners from the Jaffna teaching hospital in Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north held a three-day strike beginning on February 11 to demand improved wages and conditions. The cleaners, who are employed by labor hire firm Tharans Company, have formed an organization Clean Well to defend their rights and demanded a daily wage of 400 rupees ($US4), uniforms and fixed work times.

Sri Lanka’s labor department has refused to recognize Clean Well, citing national labor laws that deny contract workers the right to establish unions. When the striking workers attempted to present a petition to hospital authorities on February 11, they were blocked and manhandled by security guards. "The hospital administration ignored us, saying that they have nothing to do with our problems," the cleaners told the World Socialist Web Site.

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