“Train strike launched when we were in the process of solving their issues” – State Minister Ashok Abeysinghe

“Train strike launched when we were in the process of solving their issues” – State Minister Ashok Abeysinghe

Written by Staff Writer

22 Jun, 2019 | 7:48 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): The railway employees launched a 48-hour strike on June 20th regarding the dysfunctional cabinet paper that was approved to remove the salary anomalies of the railway employees and due to the unsuccessful discussions held with the Minister of Finance.

The general public was severely inconvenienced due to the strike as only 32 out of the 360 scheduled trains operated yesterday (June 21) while only ten of the 300 trains scheduled to operate in the weekend, engaged in operations. It was also reported that due to the closure of ticket counters and offices in multiple train stations that passengers were compelled to travel without a ticket.

The General Manager of the Railway department, Dilantha Fernando said that passengers who had paid for pre-bookings will be reimbursed.

However speaking on the strike action, the State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Ashok Abeysinghe said that if the anomalies in the salaries of the employees were rectified previously that it would have affected the wage structure of everyone employed in the state sector.

He continued to say that the President appointed a committee headed by his secretary to probe into the matter and that their report will be submitted within the next two to three weeks. The State Minister said that once the report is approved by the cabinet that all these issues could be solved and added that they launched the strike when they were in the midst of solving their issues.

State Minister Abeysinghe quite firmly added that if the strike continues that they would take measures to deploy extra buses of the SLTB and that a new system will also be brought in where people with season tickets will be allowed to travel in buses as well.

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