COLOMBO: The Railway Station Masters’ Union (RSMU) warns that more than 60 train journeys may have to be cancelled on Monday,Jan. 02, as a result of the vacuum created by the retirement of nearly 500 individuals from the entire railway staff, since Dec. 31.
President of the RSMU, Sumedha Somaratne said that 44 trains were scheduled to be cancelled yesterday (Dec. 31), while there have been nearly 07 train cancellations so far.
“It is likely to be doubled or tripled. It could be increased up to 60 to 70 by tomorrow.”
If that happens, the running trains will not be able to carry the total capacity of commuters, he added.
“Passengers who come to the railway stations will create conflicts. We can definitely state that this situation will arise on the very first day of the year.”
“Office commuters will be severely affected,” he said.
Somaratne also pointed out that the provision of services by the retired employees on contract basis as required has not been accomplished so far.
The Railway Department has removed 04 employees who were working with no approval for about one and half years, without making payments for them, the President of the union claimed.
Also, even though new station masters were recruited to overcome the shortage of station masters, the appointments have not been approved since 2013, and as a result, the Matara and Beliatta Railway Stations will have to be closed in the coming period, he further emphasized.
Somaratne further stressed that if a proper solution will not be provided for this issue next week, they will definitely launch a strike by January 09, against these collapses that have arisen within the Railway Department.