The Railway Employees’ Trade Union Federation (RETUF) today decided to launch a 24-hour countrywide token strike from midnight on December 1 over several demands
RETUF Convener Janaka Fernando told the media that the token strike was mainly to express their opposition to the granting of Railway Department land to the private sector, the proposal to set up a land bank, irregular recruitment, the abolishing of pensioners’ rights and the proposed Railway Development Council.
He said, the government pension scheme was established during colonial rule and not by any of the government’s since independence. The pension scheme was intended to protect public servants after retirement and his or her family after the pensioner’s death.
“As a federation we are urging government in power to safeguard the pension scheme and not abolish it,” he said.
Railway Controllers' Union Chairman Lal Ariyaratne said the work stoppage would be only for a day because we did not want to inconvenience students sitting the GCE Ordinary Level Examination. Most of the students only travel by train to reach their examination centres. "Our trade union action will continue after the examinations," he said.
The Railway Services Trade Union Secretary Sampath Rajitha said most of the recruitment had been carried by outsiders who were known to be supporters of Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.
“Our Union had a discussion with the Transport Minister on November 4 at the Railway Headquarters. During the discussions we realised that the minister was not interested about our concerns. Our problem is whether the minister is pretending not to understand what the union is saying or does not understand the real situation. At the beginning of the meeting he opposed us at every turn. We are convinced that the ministry is attempting to hand over railway Department lands to private companies,” Mr. Rajitha said.“We are warning the minister to not to lay his hands on the Railways and don’t leave room for us to change the government. Do your best to stop our token strike without trying to show us how you are going to transport the people using the government bus service. The minister is under the impression that on five per cent of people traveling by train.” (Chaturanga Pradeep)
Sri Lanka undoubtedly takes pride of place in the world as a place where nothing gets gone without a strike. Since the country is struggling to keep its democracy from being invaded again by ideologies and their puerile leaders, work forces seem to have lost sight of work ethics and productivity. Their voices shout slogans instead of talking and discussing deals. What a shame!
Selvyn Wednesday, 30 November 2016 10:29 AM
There must be laws to deal with protests and strikes which should be determined legally whether there is justification. via DM Android App
Save Wednesday, 30 November 2016 12:10 PM
Hope they will work on Friday.
Veda mama Wednesday, 30 November 2016 02:43 PM
Oh! No!! All MP's get fantastic Salary Increments and other benefits served on a golden platter "Without a Strike".
Nihal Amarasekera Tuesday, 29 November 2016 04:15 PM
Janaka Wednesday, 30 November 2016 05:04 PM
The curse of so-called Independence.
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