Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the sudden railway strike is an unfair move launched by some trade unions of railway department. The striking trade union members could solve their problems and grievances by negotiate with the government. The Minister requests all striking railway trade unions to abandon their strike and report to work.
Meanwhile, the commissioner general of examination requests the students sitting for GCE Advanced level examination to report to their examination center early as possible. The Sri Lankan Army is providing a special bus service for this purpose. Brigadier Sumith Athapattu requests all retired railway officers to help the government and the students at this difficult situation.
Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathna said the government has taken effective measures to solve the salary anomalies of railway drivers, OICs and Railway Control Department Employees.
Meanwhile, several railway trade unions launched a strike from 3pm yesterday without prior notice against the latest Cabinet decision to suspend the Cabinet paper proposing the rectification of railway workers’ salary anomalies.
Trade unions representing engine drivers, guards, controllers and station masters are engaged in the strike.
Railway Trade Union Alliance Co-Convener Lal Ariyaratne said trains that had begun their journeys ply but no train would leave thereafter.
Railway services were affected with commuters due to depart home after work. Thousands of commuters were left stranded which resulted in a tense situation since the train services were cancelled without prior notice at the Colombo Fort and Maradana Railway stations.
The commuters complain that they have to face immense difficulties due to a sudden strike launched by railway trade unions. As a result, the commuters could not reach their destination on time afterwards yesterday. They had to use alternative transport means to reach their hometowns. The government says this railway strike was unfair and the trade unions should take the full responsibility of making inconvenience to the regular commuters.
Meanwhile, the Special Task Force has given protection to the Fort Railway Station and its properties. It is suspected some of the members of the trade union may damage the railway properties.
The government and private bus operators made special arrangements to operate more busses yesterday to meet the excess demand of the commuters.