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Sri Lanka: Railways, transport workers to join nationwide strike

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Colombo [Sri Lanka], May 5 (ANI): The Sri Lanka Railway Station Masters’ Union (SLRSMU) announced that they will participate in the nationwide strike on Friday.

The All Ceylon Transport Workers Union (ACTWU) also said that they had asked all the employees of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) to join the nationwide strike tomorrow.

The Railway Station Masters’ Union said that the decision has been taken up by the central committee after holding the meeting yesterday, Daily Mirror reported on Thursday.

Accordingly, the Union will refrain from all the services from today’s midnight in view of their participation in the mass strike.

General Secretary of ACTWU, Sepala Liyanage said that all the employees have been requested to participate in the strike to establish the people’s government.

He further said that the SLTB chairman and the Labour Department Commissioner General have also been notified about this, reported Daily Mirror.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Provincial Private Bus Owners’ Association (IPPBOA) refused to participate in the nationwide strike but has given the freedom to the bus owners to decide whether to join the strike or not.

Referring to the nationwide strike, Additional Chairman said that there is no point in participating in such activities as the government has not yet decided to quit, as reported by Daily Mirror.

“It is a waste of public money and their valuable time. The loss the country gains from such hartal has to be borne by us,” the association said.

“Therefore, we have given the freedom to all our members to engage with the hartal if they wish,” he added.

Meanwhile, a day earlier, S.P. Withanage, co-convener of the Railway Trade Union Alliance (RTUA) announced that a 24- hour countrywide railway trade union action will start from midnight, to show solidarity to the nationwide hartal on Friday.

Reportedly, over 40 railway trade unions will join the strike while above 1000 trade unions will join the railway trade unions. In addition, there will be zero trains running in the island country during the strike as well, said the Co-Convener, reported Daily Mirror.

Sri Lanka is struggling with acute food and electricity shortages, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours. The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is unable to buy sufficient fuel and gas, while the people are being deprived of basic amenities as well.

The economic situation has led to huge protests with demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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