The latest instance of how fly-by-night private hospitals make employees suffer and employment insecure is playing out at ‘Rosewalk: Luxury Hospital for Women’ at Panscheel Park in south Delhi.
Employees at this “luxury” maternity hospital — started by businessman Rasik Chopra over nine months ago — have been protesting due to the abrupt discontinuation of operations at the hospital. They were asked to leave without any notice or compensation, and when they resisted, the hospital management resorted to harassing the staff.
In early May, the hospital management suddenly informed the employees that their services were being terminated, because the hospital was shutting down. According to sources, a surgery took place at the hospital on 10 May. But after that, employees were told that 8 May was their last working day.
There are around 110 employees in the hospital — including doctors, nurses, superintendents, housekeeping and IT staff.
Importantly, all these employees are permanent employees, said Rince Joseph, president of the Delhi-NCR unit of the United Nurses’ Association (UNA).
This announcement was not preceded by any prior notice — forget the two months’ notice as required legally — nor was there any mention of compensation or severance pay. Instead, the employees were simply asked to leave. But the employees resisted and continued turning up at the hospital.
In fact, after the employees continued to question the management on this grossly illegal move, male bouncers were sent to threaten and harass the employees, including the female nurses and superintendents, Joseph told Newsclick.
After that, the employees approached the UNA, and the association approached the labour court.
“There was a discussion scheduled for 24 May at the district labour court in Pushp Vihar. But the Rosewalk management did not bother to even turn up at the labour court,” said Joseph.
However, the next day, on 25 May, the management sent another letter to the staff, backtracking on the previous announcement, and said the employees’ two-month notice period began from the next day onwards. The letter said that the staff were being thrown out because the hospital would be handed over to someone else after two months, said Joseph.
“There has been no mention of compensation, the Provident Fund (PF), the experience certificate, etc. And since they are retrenching the employees, they should pay at least 3 months’ salary,” he said.
On 26 May, however, people from the marketing section came and started taking pictures and videos of the female nurses — without their consent. There are more than 30 female nurses at the hospital, and most of them are from Kerala and the North-east region.
The nurses protested against this and even dialled 100 to call the police, said Joseph, but the police had not arrived at the time of filing this report.
“This has endangered the futures of all these employees. The matter is pending with the labour court, and we will fight till we get justice from the employees,” Joseph said.