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Former station masters come out of retirement as railway strike continues

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As the ongoing railway strike enters its second week, ten commuter trains made their way to Colombo Fort this morning, with former station masters also coming out of retirement to help out.

According to the State Minister of Transport Ashoka Abeysinghe, six trains arrived in Fort from the Mahawa Junction, Kurunegala, Chilaw, Galle, Kandy, Rambukkana and Avissawella railway stations.

Over 20 retired station masters have been temporarily rehired on a daily-wage basis, said Abesyinghe, to counter the inconvenience faced by the public due to the trade union action. The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has also been advised to implement a special bus service covering all affected areas, he added.

Several railway trade unions launched a strike last Wednesday (26 Sept) over alleged salary anomalies.

All trade unions currently engaged in strikes in various sectors including railways will meet the cabinet sub-committee overseeing the matter for a discussion today at the Ministry of Finance.

The cabinet sub-committee was appointed to look into the matter at the emergency cabinet meeting convened by President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday (27 Sept).