Oct 01, Colombo: The Railway Trade Unions say that the strike they launched since 25th September will continue since the cabinet meeting failed to provide an acceptable solution although the government has offered solutions to their demands.
Acting Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Ashok Abeysinghe says that a cabinet paper has been submitted regarding the requests made by several railway trade unions.
He said the proposal to make the railway service a closed service to solve the salary issue of railway employees engaged in the strike was approved by the Cabinet at the weekly cabinet meeting today.
Speaking to media, the Minister said it was unfair to continue a strike when the government has taken measures to resolve their issues and it clearly indicates that there is a political conspiracy behind the trade unions' action.
"The sub-committee yesterday discussed the train strike. The Railway trade unions made some demands. We especially believe that the salary anomalies can be resolved if the Railway service is made a closed service. On their demand, a cabinet paper was submitted and the cabinet has given the approval. Although the salary levels will change, it will not affect the other sectors."
"During discussions they say the strike would be called off and say an entirely different thing when they come out. This shows that this strike is a total political project. As a government, we will face this strike if they did not call it off. The President has taken measures to make the railways an essential service, the gazette notification has been prepared," the Minister said.
Due to the railway strike, the Department off Railways has lost about Rs. 110 million. Passengers say they have been greatly inconvenienced by the strike.