The discussion scheduled to be held between Railway Trade Unions and the President’s Secretary this afternoon based on several demands including salary discrepancies failed to materialize.
The Railway Graded Trade Union Collective stated that although it was ready to take part in the discussion, it decided not to take part once authorities stated several conditions prior to the discussion beginning.
The 48 hour strike which was launched last midnight has now carried on for 18 hours.
Speaking at a press conference organized by the Railway Graded Trade Union Collective its president Lal Ariyarathne stated that the strike will continue tomorrow as well.
Speaking further he stated that if their demands are not met the strike will continue.
Train drivers, controllers, station masters and control supervising directors have joined this strike.
The convener of the Railway Graded Trade Union Collective, Jaanaka Fernando stated that the National Salary Commission has not granted approval for the removal of salary discrepancies.
However, speaking to our news team the Minister of Private Transportation Kumara Welgama stated that the salary scales requested by railway employees cannot be granted on practical grounds and that due to this reason he is still willing to engage in discussions and provide solutions to these issues.
However, due to the strike commuters were severely inconvenienced today.
Railway transportation director L. R. L. Rathnayaka stated that due to the strike only 9 out of 325 train turns were run.
The Fort Railway station was uncharacteristically padlocked and a similar scene was seen in the Kandy station as well.
Meanwhile the All Island Private Bus Owners Association states that it will enter into an island wide strike in the next 4 days.
The chairman of the AIPBOA Gemunu Wijerathne stated that the strike will be launched in protest of the bus fare amendment that was promised in July not being granted.
Meanwhile, a discussion between bus associations and the president was scheduled this afternoon.
The AIPBOA had stated yesterday that it will not be taking part in this discussion.
However, speaking to our news team before taking part in the discussion the chairman of the All Island Private Bus Association Collective Stanley Fernando stated that his association will take part in the discussion.
He also stated that although his association is taking part in the discussion, he was not aware of the objective of the discussion.