Colombo, June 28 (IANS): Thousands of passengers were stranded in Sri Lanka on Friday as railway trade unions launched a strike across the country, demanding higher salaries from the government.
The trade unions have taken off work, asking the government to fulfil their demands as soon as possible.
In order to stop the sudden continuous strikes launched since last week, a special gazette notification was issued on Thursday making railways an “essential public service” on the orders of President Maithripala Sirisena, Xinhua news agency reported.
However, despite the special gazette notification, railway trade unions went ahead with the strike, inconveniencing thousands of passengers and tourists.
General Manager of Railways Dilantha Fernando told journalists that the Department of Railways had lodged a police complaint against the trade unions for resorting to the strike despite railways being declared an essential service under a state of Emergency.
Fernando said legal action would be taken against the railway workers on strike.
The government said it would initiate further discussions with the trade unions in order to settle the issues.