Sri Lanka Bus, Railway employees threaten strike action

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 March 2006, 12:50 GMT]
The United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government said Saturday that it will not allow the private sector bus to increase the fare by twenty percent. "A conference to decide on the demand of the private sector bus owners will be held on Monday with the participations of officials of finance and transport ministries. Private bus owners have no right to revise the fare unilaterally," said Mr.A.H.M.Fowzie, Railway and Transport Minister said.

The Private Sector Bus Owners' Association (PSBOA) has announced 100% increase in the minimum bus fare from four rupees to eight if the government fails to provide subsidy in the fuel and the import of buses.

Mr.Gemunu Gunatilake, President of the PSBOA said private bus owners have been compelled to seek a price revision in accordance with the National Policy due to increased costs.

Meanwhile, the Organization for the Protection of the Properties and Rights of Railway Employees (OPPRRE) has threatened to cripple the rail services during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year season if the government fails to accede to its demands which include offering permanency to casual workers, establishing the Railway Administrative Support Service, revoking decision to hand over the maintenance of railway toilets to the private sector and halting irregular tender procedure, sources said.

OPPRRE has also planned to hold a demonstration on March 22 in front of the Transport Ministry, sources said.


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