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* Sri Lanka Railway strike strands commuters
Fri, Dec 7, 2012, 11:10 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 07, Colombo: Thousands of Sri Lankan commuters are stranded at rail stations island wide today due to a 24-hour strike launched by a railway trade union collective since midnight Thursday demanding a solution to their salary problems.

A number of office trains have been obstructed and all the postal trains have been cancelled as well, a railway official said. However the Railway Department says that 15 trains are currently in operation despite the strike.

The token strike is to end at midnight Friday.

The Graded Trade Union Collective of Sri Lanka Railway comprising 111 railway trade unions earlier announced that all employees representing their trade unions and the engine drivers would strike work for 24 hours from midnight Tuesday.

However they postponed the strike to Thursday after the discussions they had with the Transport Minister Kumara Welgama who had reportedly promised to make a final decision on the salary issue after a discussion with the Salary Commission on Thursday.

Chairman of the Railway Controllers Union Lal Ariyarathne said the decision to launch a token strike has been made due to the failure of Salary Commission to submit the salary recommendations before the Thursday deadline.

The union members demand the government to resolve among others, the problems of the circular numbered 6/2006, distress loans and fill 9,000 vacancies in Sri Lanka Railway.

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