Railways threatens strikers with sacking | Daily News

Railways threatens strikers with sacking

Railways General Manager Dilantha Fernando yesterday announced that railway employees who fail to report to work without notice would be deemed to have vacated their posts with immediate effect.

He told the Daily News that the decision was made in the wake of the on-going strike of several railway trade unions citing salary anomalies.

Yesterday marked the seventh consecutive day of the strike action launched by the Railway Drivers, Guards, Station Masters and Supervisors collectively heavily inconveniencing the train commuters.

The Railway Department also with the assistance of retired railway employees operated nine trains yesterday despite the strike action. The Department said Army and Police personnel have been deployed to provide security at railway stations during the strikes. The Sri Lanka Transport Board has deployed additional buses.

Cabinet on Tuesday approved a Cabinet Paper submitted by Acting Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Abeysinghe to make the Railway service a ‘closed service’, thereby making it distinct from the rest of the public service to solve the salary issues of railway employees. This was a request by several Railway trade unions during discussions held with the Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed to find solutions to the recent wave of trade union actions in various sectors.

The Sub-committee comprised of Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Rajitha Senaratne, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Non-Cabinet Minister Dr.Harsha de Silva and State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, held discussions with the striking trade unions, including the Railway unions, for about 6 hours on Monday.

Railway Operators’ Union President Lal Ariyaratne told the Daily News the trade union action would continue as they have not received fair solutions to their demands. He said the decision to consider the striking Railway employees as vacating theie service has not been communicated to them officially. Commenting on the Cabinet decision, Ariyaratne said the Railway service had been made a ‘closed service’ since 2018. “We have doubts as to how far our demands will be met. No further meeting has been scheduled with the authorities so far. We will continue the strike action launched on September 25,” he said.

 


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