COLOMBO (News 1st) – Railway trade unions claim that discussions held with the President to resolve salary anomalies were unsuccessful.
Following a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday (August 23), Secretary of the Railway Engine Drivers’ Association, Indika Dodangoda stated that they were able to see clearly through the media that the Minister of finance is clearly against the decision to resolve the salary anomalies. The secretary also continued that they would act according to a collective decision made by all the unions.
Railway Trade Unions carried out several trade union actions from time to time, claiming that the cabinet sub-committee headed by Dr. Sarath Amunugama which was appointed to look into salary anomalies into railway workers, had not implemented the terms agreed upon during discussions. The strike action which commenced on the 8th of August without prior notice was only called off following an intervention by the President.
However, Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera expressed his objection to resolve these anomalies during a cabinet meeting and in other places. The minister had pointed out that salary irregularities will pop up in other sectors as well if railway salaries are increased.
Even at present, based on an order from the President a Special Commission has been appointed to review salaries of the state sector and formulate a salary policy. However, the committee is yet to present its recommendations on how to resolve salary anomalies in several sectors including Railway, Health, Higher Education, Education, and Post.