Savings from strike shows high payments to staff – Railways | Daily News
Railways strike continues?

Savings from strike shows high payments to staff – Railways

The Railways Department has saved over Rs.110 million by the non-payment of overtime and other allowances to staff and other savings due to the 11-day long staff strike by nearly 3,000 railway workers, a senior officer told Daily News.

“This is due to the non-payment of overtime payments for the employees, unused fuel and the inactivation of the supporting staff,” this official pointed out.

The trade union action by the railway employees began on September 26 and has continued for the 11th day yesterday (6th).

On a normal day, the Railways department earns over Rs.18 million by ticket sales. But, it has to pay over Rs.20 million daily as overtime payments and travel allowances. However, due to the train strike, the department has been able to save about Rs.10 million per day, the official explained. A locomotive driver, station master, train guard or a controller earns over Rs.300,000 monthly. This is inclusive of the overtime payment of over Rs. 200,000, he further disclosed.

Railway employees yesterday threatened to continue their trade union action if a permanent solution was not found to their demands.

Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union (LOEU) Secretary Indika Dodangoda told the Daily News that they would report to work only if the issues pertaining to their salary anomalies are solved and the letters sacking them from the service are withdrawn from their personal files.

The Trade Union also expressed their objection to irregular recruitments, promotions, removals and disciplinary action taking place within the department.

Dodangoda said that they have presented a petition to the International Labour Organization and the Election Commission against the Essential Service Act that has been brought to suppress the Trade Unions.

Meanwhile, Military Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Attapattu, when contacted refuted social media reports stating that the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army would be sought to run trains from today. “There is no such plan. We have not been asked for any such assistance,” Attapattu told the Daily News.

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