Transport Ministry requests Railway TUs to call off strike

The Civil Aviation and Transport Ministry yesterday had requested Railway Trade Unions to call off their strike considering the inconvenience caused to the public as well as to the students sitting for the GCE O/L Examination.

Several trade unions including Train Controllers’ Union, Railway Engine Drivers’ Union, Railway Station Masters’ Union and the Railway Guards’ Union launched a strike from Wednesday midnight citing several demands.

They urged the government to abolish an Act that was being followed to recruit Assistant Engine Drivers at a higher salary scale saying it went against the existing Railway recruitment procedure.

The Ministry said a discussion was held between Ministry Secretary G. S. Vithanage, Railways General Manager S. Mahanama and the Locomotive Engineers Union at the Ministry yesterday in a bid to resolve the issue.

Ministry Secretary G. S. Vithanage had wanted the trade unions to resolve the matter through discussion and pointed out that the Supreme Court had already given an order based on a case filed by the Engine Driver’s Assistance Union over the examination being held to recruit Assistant Engine Drivers.

The secretary said a government servant can’t go against the rulings of the court but promised to do his best to resolve the matter.

Meanwhile, he said the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) had deployed additional buses to avoid the inconvenience caused to the public due to the railway strike.

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