The collective of professionals’ trade unions has put a temporary halt to their strike actions from today (March 16), after their countrywide one-day token strike on Wednesday.
The token strike on Wednesday was joined by at least 40 trade unions in multiple sectors including health, postal, ports, banking, education and electricity.
Members of the public were afflicted as many services, notably in the health sector, were crippled by the one-day trade union action.
However, after taking into account the assurances given by the Presidential Secretariat, the views and opinions of trade union members as well as the inconveniences caused to the general public, the Professionals’ Trade Union Alliance (PTUA) decided to temporarily call off the token strike.
Accordingly, the island-wide 24-hour strike launched by the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) at all government hospitals came to an end at 8.00 a.m. today.
Calling a media briefing on Wednesday, GMOA’s media spokesperson Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe said they would not continue their trade union actions until the demands are met.
In the meantime, the railway services returned to normalcy today, after only about 20 trains were operated on Wednesday due to the token strike of the Locomotive Engine Operators’ Union and several other employee associations.
The trade unions of teachers and principals have also decided to temporarily cancel their token strike from today, the chief secretary of Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) Joseph Stalin said.
Nevertheless, the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) president Prof. Shyama Banneheka said they would continue the trade union action as satisfactory solutions were not provided for their demands.
Meanwhile, Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya stressed that the country’s gross national product has incurred a loss of LKR 46 billion as a result of Wednesday’s token strike.