Aug 11, Colombo: Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Ashok Abeysinghe says that if the strike launched by the Sri Lanka Railways trade unions continues, the railways will have to be made an essential service.
He said that the government would continue to take steps to solve the problem democratically.
The train strike launched by the Railway Trade Union Alliance (RTUA) on Wednesday over salary anomalies of Railway employees continued for the fourth day today and no trains except the fuel tanker trains operated in the country today.
It has been reported that the government is also considering to train 100 Army personnel in India on driving trains.
Meanwhile, the Railway Employees during discussions held today with the authorities have agreed to operate several trains while maintaining the strike.
Speaking to the state media the Deputy Minister said the government is trying to solve the problem democratically.
"I personally know who are in those trade unions are. Who knows who is opearting. We cannot control them. We are trying to resolve this problem as democratically as possible."
He said the gazette notification declaring the railway service essential has been prepared. "We have not decided yet. After it is presented to the President and President signed it, the Railways will become an essential service."
"We will try to resolve this for another two-three days through discussions without making the service an essential service. If not we can announce it After Monday," the Deputy Minister added.