Strikes galore: Train strike ended, CEB strike begins

After seven long days, the Railways Trade Union action has been called off.

The strike brought railway activities to a screeching halt, dropping the daily train run numbers from 350, all the way to just 9.

This drop affected Sri Lanka in the form of a Rs. 110 Million loss.

So what made them stop?

The decision was taken following discussions held with the Cabinet Sub-committee. A unanimous decision was taken to reformulate the ‘railway, health and education’ services as separate entities.

According to Cabinet Sub-Comm. chairman Min. Dr. Sarath Amunugama, the recommendations are scheduled to be presented at the next Cabinet meeting.

The Minister also added that all examinations and recruitment will be suspended until the committee meets again.

“The committee also agreed to convene all trade unions and discuss their salary issues and that agreed that no official who took part in this trade union would be penalized.” he added.

Min. Amunugama clarified that the exam for assistant drivers are not canceled. The matter has been directed to the Attorney General.

The meeting with the Cabinet Sub-committee was attended by;

  • Railway regulators union
  • Guards union
  • Station masters union
  • Two engineers’ unions

‘An apology’

The Locomotive Engineering Operators’ Union has apologized for the inconvenience caused to the General Public and the Government.

“We are sorry it had to go down to this situation but this situation was a result of the wrong actions of the administration.” – Indika Dodamgoda (Secretary – Locomotive Engineering Operators’ Union)

Even though the strike has now ended, all railway operations cannot be restored today (December 13).

Railway Operations will function at maximum capacity from tomorrow morning (December 14).

Railway strike ends, Electricity Board strike begins

Thirty two trade unions of the Ceylon Electricity Board launched a hunger strike.

The strike was launched three days ago (Monday, December 11) opposite the CEB Head Office, Colombo.

What now? – Annual bonus and medical leave incentives.

According to the trade unions, authorities have proposed a reduction of annual bonuses and incentives for medical leave.

Meanwhile a group which included engineers reported to work during a recent CEB strike. Here, a decision was taken to pay these engineers an additional amount.

This ‘additional amount’ was four or three times the usual daily wage.

The protesting trade unions have opposed this payment on top of their other demands.

Engineering Mafia within CEB?

“They admitted that the engineering mafia within the CEB are creating severe crises. A certain group of engineers who are very much involved with the business community have been taken under the grip of CEB GM. The Minister has also convinced the government.” – Ranjan Jayalal (Convener – CEB Joint Trade Union Alliance)

According to Ranjan Jayalal, the Ministry had stated that bonuses will be paid without any reduction. However, he added that the strike will not called off until the verbal consent is given in writing.

The Ceylon Electricity Board has incurred a Rs. 50 Billion loss since the beginning of 2017.

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