President of the Lanka Railway Inspectors Union (LRIU) K.A.R. Susantha said they will be opting out of their services effective today (6) due to reasons such as inability of their members to report for duty and to refuel their vehicles.
He stated that due to the on-going fuel crisis, their members had been unable to find alternative modes of transport to report to work.
He alleged that even the fuel that has been provided to its members thus far has not been sufficient for the entire workforce to report to work, prompting them to opt out of their jobs.
Meanwhile, more than 140 trains were cancelled yesterday (5) due to the withdrawal of staff from the railway running shed.
The workers claimed that the government had not taken enough precautions to ensure they have enough fuel to report for duty.
General Secretary to the Sri Lanka Station Masters Union Kasun Chamra said that as a result, train operations had been disrupted since yesterday morning and that two inter-city trains with reserved seats were running from Colombo Fort to Kankesanturai at 11:50 a.m. and to Batticaloa at 03:05 p.m.
He said that, in light of the country’s current situation, the association believes the Government should pay more attention to railways, which play an important role in public transportation. He also said that it is a tremendous hardship for railway employees to report for duty given the country’s current crisis, but emphasised that they performed their duties even in the face of insults.
“In addition, we have a problem identifying essential and non-essential staff in the Railway Department, which is an important service in the country. To offer the service given by the Railway Department, all employees must work together as a chain. Each employee is a necessary service and fuel for all of these employees is a must. We ask that the facilities be made available as soon as possible,” he said.
By Thameenah Razeek and Mithun Jayawardena