(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Strongly condemning the trade union action taken by the Sri Lanka Railways employees yesterday severely inconveniencing the evening commuters, Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera urged the striking employees to end the strike and come for discussions.
“I strongly condemn the strike action taken by the railway employees. End the strike before we sit down for discussions,” he said making a brief media statement.
Minister of Finance says that the government strongly condemns the unannounced strike launched by the railway trade unions yesterday when the government has already appointed a special commission to revise the salaries of the state sector workers including the railway employees.
The Minister said arrangements have been made to deploy additional Sri Lanka Transport Board buses and also the Army has deployed their buses to transport the commuters. The train season ticket holders can ride the SLTB buses free, he added.
The Finance Minister said that permission has given for the private bus owners to ply on any route disregarding route permissions and the cost of operating extra buses will be provided by the Finance Ministry.
A special bus service will be started to provide transportation to the students sitting for the GCE Advance Level examination, he said.
The government expressing regret over the strike launched by the railway workers disregarding the accepted norms offered apologies to the evening commuters who were stranded at the railway stations yesterday.
Evening commuters enraged by the lightning strike staged a protest opposite the central train station Colombo Fort yesterday demanding the government to privatize the railway service.