Sri Lankan railway workers to launch 48-hour strike

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 September 2003, 16:52 GMT]
The Railway Trade Unions' Federation (RTUF) has given notice to the Sri Lankan Railway Authority that about 18,000 members belonging to several trade unions would launch a 48-hour strike with effect from Tuesday midnight, putting forward three demands including a seventy five percent salary increase, railway department officials said.

The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Railway Authority, Mr. P.M.Manathunge, said that alternative arrangements have been made to provide uninterrupted train services to commuters, sources said.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Mr.Tilak Marapone said that a solution could not be found to all demands of the railway workers immediately.

The RTUF said its members would lose several benefits they enjoyed under the former Department of Railways, which has now been succeeded by the formation of the Railway Authority. This move would certainly deprive several rights of the workers, trade union officials said.

In the meantime, health sector employees Tuesday morning reported for work in their respective hospitals, suspending their thirteen day old strike. Hospitals throughout the country resumed their normal services, a spokesman for the health ministry said.


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