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The Kerala High Court today barred nurses' organisations from resorting to their proposed indefinite strike from July 17 to press for their demand of higher wages. Justice P B Suresh Kumar stayed the proposed nurses' strike on a petition which argued that their services fall under the ambit of essential services and sought invocation of the Essential Services Maintenance Act provisions against striking nurses. Justice Kumar also issued notices to four nurses' organisation and the state government, seeking their stands on the plea. Functioning of private hospitals in Kerala is likely to be hit with an estimated 80,000 nurses ready to go on indefinite strike from July 17, demanding higher wages. Private hospital managements have said they would be able to provide only emergency services from Monday in view of the strike call. The nurses have been on strike for the past few days demanding minimum wages of Rs 20,000 as fixed by the Supreme Court. The United Nurses Association (UNA) and Indian Nurses Association (INA), spearheading the ongoing stir, have said they would intensify their protest from July 17.
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