Aug 08, 2018

Anti-riot squads deployed as railway strike begins Featured

Police anti-riot squads have been deployed at the Colombo Fort railway station after passengers strongly protested to a strike launched at 3.00 pm today (08) by train drivers and guards.

The strike is against a decision by ministers to suspend a cabinet paper to remove salary anomalies of drivers, guards, station masters and railway controllers.

The train operations supervising officers association says its membership will join the strike after all trains from Colombo reached their destinations.

At yesterday’s cabinet meeting, finance minister Mangala Samaraweera objected to a salary increase for railway workers, warning on repurcussions of such a move.

At the previous cabinet meeting, Rajitha Senaratne and Sarath Amunugama spoke in support of an increase in the salaries of railway workers.

Samaraweera responded by saying that salaries of parallel grades too, will have to be increased if railway workers were given a pay hike.

He said however, the government had no money to increase salaries, and described it as a conspiracy by the Rajapaksas.

President Maithripala Sirisena spoke in support of the finance minister.

Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry says railway season tickets could be used to travel in CTB buses.