Trade Union action continues; general public greatly inconvenienced

Trade Union action continues; general public greatly inconvenienced

Written by Staff Writer

27 Sep, 2019 | 7:59 pm

Colombo (News 1st): The general public was inconvenienced today (September 27) as a result of the trade union action launched by the railway and teacher-principal trade unions. Several trade unions attached to railways, including station masters, engine drivers, controllers, and regulators were engaged in their trade union action today as well. As a result, only 12 office trains were in operation.

Secretary to the Ministry of Transport said, retired railway employees have been recalled for duty to ensure that the railway operations continue without disruption. The President of the Engine Drivers’ Union, however, noted that they would not stop the strike action until they receive solutions to their salary issues.

State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Asoka Abeysinghe noted that the people of this country should be aware that the train driver receives a salary of over Rs. 300,000 and overtime payments. He added that a railway regulator gets a salary of about Rs. 250,000, while a stations master is paid a salary of over Rs. 200,000. He said in a situation like this when the salaries have been increased, they are demanding that this be done immediately though the government’s salary increase is planned to take effect from January 1st.

Abeysinghe noted that they increased the salary by Rs. 10,000 in February, which was added to the basic salary. He noted that they gave a bonus of Rs. 2500 from the previous budget and have given another increase as well. He noted that the people of this country should be aware as to why people who receive such a high salary are trying to cripple the government by carrying trade union action. He believes that this is because its an election period.

Meanwhile, the strike action launched by the teacher- principal trade unions by applying for sick leave, hampered the academic activities of several schools today. The teacher-principal trade unions applied sick leave yesterday as well as part of the strike action they’ve launched demanding that the salary anomalies be rectified.

General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin noted that they informed the Minister of Education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam in writing on July 21st that there will be strike action on September 26th and 27th. He noted that they did not even receive a reply. He informed the rulers of this country that we will carry out a strike action from October 7th to 12th for five in days.

Responding to this current situation UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena noted that there are no trains operating in the country and the war heroes who saved the country are protesting on the road. He added that none of the state offices are functioning as a result of the dysfunctional government machine. Adding to this Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa noted that the government is not functioning and the departments are not functioning. He added that the country is in dire straits.

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