Railway strike to continue as talks breakdown
December 7, 2017 04:02 pm
The Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union says that talks held today (7) with the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva, have failed.
The association said that therefore they have decided to continue with the trade union action launched since last night.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Transport said that train season tickets have been made valid for travel in Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) buses due to the ongoing strike.
Extensive talks were held at the ministry auditorium at D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha with the participation of the minister, the Secretary of the Transport Ministry G.S. Withanage, Railway General Manager S. Mahanama Abeywickrama and representatives of the Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union, to address their grievances.
Issuing a statement following the discussion, the Ministry of the Transport said that Mr Withanage stated that a decision has been given after a case was filed with the Supreme Court over the Railway Engine Driver Assistant exam issue, which is the main reason for the strike.
He pointed out that a public servant cannot change a decision given by a court and assured that he would dedicate himself to somehow bring about an acceptable solution the problem.
The Secretary also requested the trade union to withdraw from the strike, considering the fact that it will affect the students who are preparing to sit for the G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination and other commuters.
The strike, which was launched from midnight yesterday (6), had resulted in the cancellation of several long-distance trains this morning.