Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera today requested railway employees to stop the strike and come for discussions and ensured to resolve their salary anomalies within three months.
The minister told parliament that as a policy, he would not be ready to hold discussions with any trade union unless they stop the strike before discussions and added that he had not done so in his 30-year political career.
He said he objected to the cabinet paper presented in the cabinet to increase salaries of railway employees as it could have been led to a crisis in the entire government sector.
"If the salary of engine drivers were increased as proposed in the cabinet paper, it could have been led to a huge salary anomaly with other sectors of the government service," he said
The minister said he had proposed to appoint a commission and increase salaries of all state employees within two or three months but a sudden strike was launched unreasonably.
He said the government had taken several steps to facilitate people including the students sitting for A/L examination.
"We have allowed private buses to operate without route permits and requested retired engine drivers to report for duty. We have arranged a special bus service. Any private bus owner can get registered with the finance ministry and operate for passenger services. Finance ministry is ready to bear the cost," he said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)
Sara Thursday, 9 August 2018 20:44
Can any one trust this man?The biggest lire in the Cabinet.
Reply : 40 18
Refaideen Thursday, 9 August 2018 20:47
Another commission to drag the time
Reply : 28 14
Richard Thursday, 9 August 2018 21:39
You said the present govt was spineless; now, how is your spine???
Reply : 11 24
Ronnie Bugger Friday, 10 August 2018 09:32
Give the man a chance to deliver the goods as promised or ask him to quit. In the same vein, the Railway is holding the Government to ransom which must not be condoned but it appear that the Govt. has lost its spine to tolerate such things by a handful of 'thugs'. During the time of President Premadasa, these thugs would not understand the word STRIKE?
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Lord Wolfstein Friday, 10 August 2018 09:43
The entire wage system for government workers is outdated and must be re-regulated. Special allowances must be the exception. Special regulations for CEB and others must not exist. An ambulance driver would have to receive the same income as a garbage driver or a minister driver. A doctor must receive the same salary as an engineer with a doctorate or a teacher with a doctorate. Classification in a salary scale must be based on qualification and not on political aspects.
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poor harry Friday, 10 August 2018 09:50
Mangala you are trying to increase salaries of state sector employees only. What about the poor private sector? You assholes always talk about state sector.
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USAGUY Friday, 10 August 2018 10:13
One question to the govt _ didn't you all give a 10k salary increase to all state emoyees when youall came to power 2 years ago ?
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email@example.com Friday, 10 August 2018 10:19
The present railway strike is mainly due to the blunder of the Amunugama Commission. The commission should have consulted the Finance ministry prior to furnishing its recommendations. Besides, the Cabinet has failed to study the case thoroughly in taking steps to resolve the issue.
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