Sri Lanka Railway Engineers call off strike

Sri Lanka Railways

The Sri Lanka Railway Locomotive Operating Engineers have officially called off their strike after successful discussions with the Minister of Transport, Bandula Gunawardena.

The strike, initiated by the Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union of Sri Lanka Railways, began at midnight on Thursday (June 6).

The union’s primary grievances included delays in second-class promotions for locomotive drivers and other related issues.

In response, the Department of Railways’ administrative officials stated that they had taken all possible measures to resolve these issues.

During a press conference this morning (June 10), Mrs. Kusalani de Silva, the Additional General Manager (Administration) of the Department of Railways, emphasized the department’s efforts to address the union’s concerns.

Mrs. Kusalani de Silva revealed that by the day the strike commenced, the Department of Railways had issued 57 promotion letters to locomotive engineers, covering more than 50% of the affected employees.

The total number of promotion letters has since increased to 70. The remaining 13 promotions were delayed because the affected employees needed to complete internal bar tests, demonstrate second-language proficiency, and resolve other disciplinary issues.

To expedite the promotion process, Mrs. Kusalani de Silva announced that the Railways Department would conduct a special department bar test within a month.

This measure aims to allow those who have not yet completed the necessary exams to do so promptly, addressing one of the key issues raised by the union.

The resolution of the strike comes as a relief to many commuters who rely on the railway system for their daily transportation needs.

The successful negotiation between the union and the Transport Ministry highlights the importance of dialogue and cooperation in resolving labor disputes.

As railway services resume normal operations, it is hoped that continued efforts to address the remaining issues will foster a more harmonious working environment for locomotive engineers and ensure the efficient functioning of Sri Lanka’s rail transport system.