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Railway strike called off

Photo by Nazly Ahmed. Used with permission.

The Railway Trade Unions have decided to call off their strike From this evening (7 Oct) after the discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena and other officials ended on a successful note, according to Railway Station Masters’ Association General Secretary, Janaka Fernando

The Railway strikers met with the National Salaries and Cadre Commission officials under the instructions of President Sirisena where they were promised to fulfil their demands.     

Chief Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya also called on state sector workers to refrain from Trade Union actions as the “government machinery must work at an optimum level” in order that the Presidential Elections are conducted successfully.

He asked the Unions to discuss with th relevant authorities and settle their disputes soon.

The Railway strike lasted for 12 days since midnight of 25 September over supposed salary anomalies.

Railway trade unions also met the cabinet sub-committee on 30 Sept which was appointed at the emergency cabinet meeting convened by the president to oversee the matter for a discussion, which was unsuccessful.

Later it was decided at the Cabinet meeting last week to declare the Railway service a ‘closed service’ as distinct from the rest of the public services.

The Railway Department also decided last Wednesday (2 Oct) to consider staff who have not returned to work due to the strike even without applying for sick leave as those who have vacated their post.

But the railway trade unions went on with their strike ignoring those notices.

Meanwhile, Gamunu Wijerathne the president of the All Island Private Bus Owner’s Association said yesterday (6 Oct) that the daily income of the private buses especially along the coastal line has been increased by 50 per cent because of the train strike.