Strike and get paid

I didn’t like this news I heard today. Supreme court has asked central government to pay salary to AIIMS doctors for the days they were on strike.

First, let me say, that I am not taking any stands on the reservations/quota issue here. Thats a separate debate. There are two things that bother me about this case.

If the doctors who went on strike are really committed to the cause of meritocracy, what did they sacrifice at the end of the day? Strike means no work, and they got into it fully aware that they might not get paid for the strike period. So after the dust has settled, it seems as if they just had an exciting vacation of sorts for a few weeks. Ok, I am overstating that a bit, but fighting so hard to get paid for “no work done” makes me doubt their commitment to the cause.

Asked about the court direction to pay salary till May 30 and not June three as petitioned for, Patro said “salary was never an issue. We welcome the court direction. Our primary issue is the fight against reservations”.

“Salary was never an issue”? I doubt.

Alright, you say the point argued in the court was that central government had promised the doctors that they will be paid for the strike period. How “legal” was this promise? How did the government unilaterally decide that it is okay to pay the doctors even for the days they didn’t attend work? I can argue that government was blackmailed into making that promise because a premier public healthcare center was forced to stop its operations.

And by the way, the government had promised it will not “penalize” the doctors. Not paying for days you didn’t attend work is not a penalty, is it?

Well, may be I am seeing this whole thing way differently, or I don’t understand the legalities involved here. But either way, I hope this incident and the court verdict does not set a precedent.


2 Responses

  1. who will pay for all the suffering of the patients??

  2. Doctors who are on strike must be sent home

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