Colombo, Oct 04 (BAN/ AD): As railways strike has entered 8th day President Maithripala Sirisena has issued Extraordinary Gazette notification proclaiming railway service as an essential service. Extraordinary Gazette notification No. 2143/51 in accordance with the Essential Public Service Act No 61 of 1979 has been issued by president.
“essential to the life of the community and is likely to be impeded or interrupted,” declared the specified services to be an Essential Public Service. State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Ashok Abeysinghe said the railway strike is being carried out for the 8th day today despite the discussions held yesterday with the trade unions.
Minister said “Even though I called them last evening and discussed with them, they said they would continue the strike. If those demands are met, there will be a salary anomaly for 519,000 workers in the public sector. I asked the President to take steps to make the railway an essential service. We ran 12 trains yesterday. 15 trains were run today. Some train drivers want to return to work. However, they have stated that the striking employees are pressuring them. Also, the General Manager of Railways is asking for police protection due to the threats from strikers. We have provided security.”