Many Railway unions won’t strike today

Subsequent to the IMF EFF facility, government employees will be given the first relief after increasing   government revenues, Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr.Bandula Gunawardena said. A special discussion regarding the strike action to be carried out by several trade unions on March 15 and the continuation of the activities of the Sri Lanka Railway Department was held at the Media Ministry Auditorium under Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena.

This discussion took place with the participation of a group of trade union representatives from the Railways Department regarding the continuous and efficient running of railway service, which has been designated as an essential service through a special government gazette.

Speaking further, the Minister said;

The current tax policy and measures in the country are directly related to the conditions put forward by the International Monetary Fund to create economic stability in this country. As of now, many international financial institutions and countries have named Sri Lanka as a country with economic risk. As a result, it is essential to succeed in the negotiations with the

International Monetary Fund in order to achieve economic stability. They have proposed to the government to complete a long-term programme and many conditions for this purpose. The tax

policy that is being talked about by many people is one of those conditions. Only about 10% of total government employees are currently subject to tax levies imposed on salaries.

However, if our country does not get the financial relief it is supposed to receive from the board meeting of the International Monetary Fund on the 20th, it is inevitable that we will face many

huge crises. However, some people who do not know the gravity of this kind of economic problem are trying to give it a political look. But in reality, there is only an economic solution.

Therefore, all public servants are requested to act without making people’s s lives more difficult at this time.

Paying special attention to this situation, many services such as port, airport, railway, transport and postal services.have already been declared as essential services.

Therefore, the heads of all institutions have been informed to act according to rules and regulations laid down in the affairs of how there are obstacles to running these services efficiently and continuously.

“As a minister, I have done my best in every possible situation with sincere dedication. The problems related to railway workers, and station masters are being solved one by one. Also, special attention is being directed towards the promotion of train drivers. “I believe that everyone will dedicate themselves to provide essential public services at this moment by focusing on all these matters.

Representatives of trade unions who spoke on this occasion had said that they will work together with their members not to contribute to the strikes to be held and to engage in duties as usual, respecting the sincere efforts of the minister to carry out the affairs of the ministry and institutions in a more formal manner.

However, they also requested the minister to intervene further to solve their existing problems.

Transport and Highways Ministry Secretary, Priyantha Mayadunne, Railways General Manager W. A. D. S. Gunasinghe, Railway Department officials and representatives of the Railway Trade Unions were present at this discussion.


by Daily News Sri Lanka

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