The 24 hour lightning strike staged by train controllers and other staff over the suspended salary circular, was called off at midnight yesterday. Thousands of commuters were inconvenienced by the 24-hour strike.
`The train services will continue as usual from today,` the president of Railway Stationmasters` Union, P.A.S. Warnasuriya said.
General Manager of Railways (GMR), K.A. Premasiri said that 20 trains were operated yesterday despite the strike.
`The services will be back to normal today,` the GMR said. `The strike was not against the Government. We do not want to inconvenience commuters or the Government,` Warnasuriya said. The strike was launched to urge the Government to implement the salary circular it has suspended depriving railway workers of salary increases, he said.
`We do not plan to carry our trade union action any further because we sincerely hope that the Government will take remedial steps in due course.` Transport Minister A.H.M. Fowzie said the railway strike was unfair as it had been staged by the railway trade unions after earlier agreeing with him not to resort to such action.
`The strike was staged at a time the Ministry of Finance was looking into the matter. In fact, Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has agreed to resolve the problems of Railway workers in two weeks,` he said.
`I told these trade unions that the doctors have already launched a strike with regard to this circular and they need not do the same to inconvenience the public,` he said.
Trade unions expressed surprise that the problem of their salary issue had gone as far as the President without their knowledge through the president of Public Nurses Trade Union, Ven. Murutthettuwe Ananda Thera and another trade union leader W.H.Piyadasa.
Warnasuriya said it was unethical for them to go and meet the Head of State over the matter without consulting them.