Railway strike to continue

Railway strike to continue

The strike launched by several railway trade unions including drivers, controllers, station masters, guards and technical staff is currently underway.

Co-Convener of the Railway Trade Union Alliance Lal Ariyaratne, said the union members will continue the strike until their demands are met by authorities.

Several railway trade unions including drivers, controllers, station masters and technical staff commenced the strike from 3pm last afternoon.

Secretary of the Locomotive Engineering Operators’ Union Indika Dodangoda speaking to NewsRadio attributed the trade union action to a decision by the Cabinet of Ministers to retract a previously approved Cabinet paper pertaining to addressing salary anomalies of management grade officers.

He said the Cabinet paper was annulled without the staff being notified and therefore the unions decided to withdraw from services.

Secretary Indika Dodangoda added trains that are in operation at present will complete journeys while stating unions have decided to withdraw from further services.

Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera had invited the group of protesting employees for a round of discussions last evening.

However the trade unions did not attend the discussion due to the condition by the Finance Minister who called for them to attend talks after calling off the strike.

Co-Convener of the Railway Trade Union Alliance Lal Ariyaratne said they refused to call off the strike on the condition by Minister Samaraweera.

Ariyaratne said following the intervention of Minister Mangala Samaraweera, two cabinet papers that were approved on the 8th of May and 2nd of August, have been annulled.

He added due to this move they launched trade union action last evening.