Railway guards, engine operators on strike
By Buddhika Samaraweera
Despite the announcement that a special train service would be in operation in view of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Locomotive Engine Operators’ Union (LEOU) and railway guards went on strike on 9 April over several demands.
Among their demands were the appointment of P.P. Wijesekera as the General Manager of Railways, the suspension of the contract given to repair the carriages to Tantri Trailers (Pvt) Ltd and an inquiry into the irregular appointments made by the Appointments Division.
They commenced the strike around 2:00 p.m. that day and had not given any prior notice to the Acting General Manager of Railways or the Department. However, when inquired about this, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Station Masters’ Union, Kasun Chamara said, several drivers who do not support the strike and the Station Masters have worked out a plan to restore the train services.
He said instead of railway guards, Station Masters would be deployed to run the trains without inconveniencing the public.