Written by Nathasha De Alwis
31 May, 2018 | 12:07 am
COLOMBO (News 1st) – General Manager (Operations) of Railways, Dr. Wijaya Samarasinghe says strict action will be taken against the damages caused to railway property by members of the Technical Services Trade Union Committee who are staging a token strike action.
Engines number 744, 754 and 866 at the Maradana train yard did not operate today due to a technical issues. According to the Railway Operations Office, the engines were not in operation due to intentional damages caused to the locomotives by Technical Services staff.
Signal cables at the Lunuwila Trains station had also been damaged. As a result, passengers were severely inconvenienced.
Dr. Wijaya Samarasinghe stated that several engines and a power set at the Dematagoda yard had also been intentionally tampered with causing them to malfunction, while the electrical cables of the night mail bearing the number 45 had been removed. He added that several such acts have been carried out at other stations as well and this forced the Railways department, to cancel two train services today.
Furthermore, he stated that all casual, assigned and contract workers at the Department of Railways have been ordered to immediately report to work and any employee who violates the order and fails to report to work shall be considered to have vacated their positions.
Chairman of the Railway Technical Services Trade Union Committee, Sampath Rajitha stated that their key demand is that the basic salary of all workers be increased by 12%. He rejected claims that striking railway workers had sabotaged the trains.
According to the Deputy Minister of Transport & Civil Aviation, Ashok Abeysinghe, the workers had made three requests to which they provided reasonable solutions and at the end, only a few trade unions decided to go ahead with the strike action.
Nevertheless, he stated that the request for a discussion with Minister Sarath Amunugama of the Cabinet Sub-committee was given to them and a discussion will be held this Friday at 1 PM at the Parliamentary Complex.
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