Smooth train service despite strike call | Daily News

Smooth train service despite strike call

Despite the much publicised threat by the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA)  to cripple the country’s train service through a 48-hour strike, 15 trains operated on the main line service. 

A Railways Department spokesman said 14 trains operated day before yesterday despite the strike call.

The trains from outstation stations such as Galle, Aluthgama, Panadura, Gampaha, Polgahawela, Veyangoda Rambukkana, Chilaw and Puttalam operated to Colombo and back.

Sri Lanka Transport Board Chief Operations Superintendent H.M. Chandrasiri, bus operations in Colombo and other parts of the country continued as usual.

“Priority was given to routes running parallel to the railway network,” he said.

Chandrasiri said the so-called trade union action had no impact whatsoever on the state bus service, which is why they were able to operate 300 buses in addition to the Board’s usual operating fleet.

“The number of buses which operated throughout the island yesterday exceeded 4,700 whereas the regular fleet comprises only 4,400 buses. We are grateful to the SLTB employees who did not take part in this strike,” he said. Meanwhile, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama expressed his gratitude to transport workers who displayed courage in the face of threats and intimidation to uphold the principle of country first.

JTUA launched a 48 hour strike from July 7 midnight based on several demands including a wage hike. The JTUA strike also resulted in the cancellation of the night mail to Batticaloa, Badulla,Vavuniya and Trincomalee. JTUA Convener Janaka Fernando said the Union decided to strike as the officials of the Transport Ministry and the Salaries and Cadre Commission failed to heed their call for a salary increase.

He said they did not receive a positive response for their request for a Rs. 1,500 salary increase for the Railway Management Staff (RMS 1 and 2). Fernando said Railway Guards, Railway Station Masters, Signal Controllers and Supervising Controllers joined the strike. 

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