Trains still in the yard | Sunday Observer

Trains still in the yard

Locomotive trade unions continue with their trade union action despite the government issuing a gazette declaring train services as an essential service and stating that all workers who fail to report to work will be considered as vacated their positions.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Secretary to the President Austin Fernando said that the President signed the Gazette on Friday night.

According to the Government Printer, Gayani Liyanage, the Gazette notification was issued last afternoon.

As per provisions of Section 2 of the Essential Services Act No 61 of 1979, issuing a Special Ggazette number 2048/47 of 2017 dated December 9, the President declared train services as essential services.

Issuing a statement, General Manager of Railways, S. M. Abeywickrema said that all leave has been cancelled of all employees effective immediately, hence employees are required to report to work.

Explaining the situation, Secretary to the President Austin Fernando said that the trade unions have made three demands and the ministry with the Railways have explained to the trade unions as to why the demands cannot be met.

“We had discussions with the trade unions and after explaining the situation, they gave a written undertaking to refrain from trade union action. Despite this undertaking, they have gone back on their word,” Fernando said.

The government has resolved to consider employees who don’t turn up to work as having vacated their positions.