Colombo, June 27 (BAN/ AD): On the order of the President Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne has signed Extraordinary Gazette notification making the railways an “essential public service”. This Extraordinary Gazette Notification has been issued in terms of Section 2 of the Essential Public Service Act No 61 of 1979.
As per the gazette railways “is essential to the life of the community” labor must be provided for all work and “Services of any description whatsoever necessary or required to be handled by the Department of Railways including the transport services by rail and railway lines, their maintenance and provision of proper security measures, signalling systems and their operation, issuance of tickets that are essential for the efficient and uninterrupted operation of the aforesaid services”.
As railway trade union collectively has called for strike if their demands are not met by June 28 this notification is seen as tool to tackle the strike. Last week trade unions had launched a 48-hour strike after the discussions with the Minister of Finance failed to reach an agreement to meet their demands.