tu train strike at Fort creates tense situation

Published : 9:10 am  October 12, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (66) reads | 

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By Thilanka Kanakarathna   

A tense situation prevailed at the Colombo Fort Railway station yesterday evening when all trains beginning their journey’s from there were cancelled indefinitely as the Locomotive Operating Engineers Union and the Railway Guards’ Union resorted to stern strike action, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded as a result.   


TU strike cancels


The strike, that came unannounced severely inconvenienced passengers who were on their home during rush hour.   


According to the reports a discussion had been held before the strike was launched to discuss issues pertaining to recruitment of trainee staff with the union claiming the authorities acted against the recruitment policies. It was reported that the meeting had ended inconclusively.   


A tense situation erupted at the Fort Railway Station soon after an announce that all trains had been cancelled causing irate passengers who were waiting for trains to go back home to enter the Station Master’s chamber. They demanded that officials make arrangements to somehow provide them with transport back home.   


Several police teams were summoned to provide security to railway officials. They were able to bring the tense situation under control with much difficulty with the help of the Special Task Force (STF). 

 
The authorities had later arranged around 20 private buses to transport the stranded passengers to other areas including Kandy and Matara. However, this measure did not go down well with the crowd as it did not satisfy the huge crowd that felt that they were being badly let down and wanted justice to be served.   


The authorities then attempted to refunded the fares paid by commuters for railway tickets that were already issued but more than half the crowd that had been stranded refused to leave the station complaining that they cannot reach their destinations in buses as it was already too late for such a decision to be taken.   


Police, who seemed to be in control of the situation by around 8.30pm, had their efforts derailed after two trains arrived at the station unexpectedly.   


Irate passengers then became boisterous and began climbing into the compartments of the trains that had just arrived and obstructed the railway track using benches that were left for passengers to sit on onto the railway track, thus preventing the train from leaving the station.   


The crowd then became unruly and attempted to break into the room occupied by the engine operator and the guard’s room but were prevented from doing so by the police. However, the railway workers were trapped inside their rooms as the entire train had been surrounded by the crowd.   


Even media personnel were not spared the wrath of the irate passengers who attempted to take their anger out on media personnel who were on the scene reporting the incident.   


Meanwhile, the railway authorities informed the public that the strike would be continued today as well.   


Speaking to Daily Mirror some passengers charged that the authorities should take the blame for the inconvenience caused to them.   

The strike, that came unannounced severely inconvenienced passengers who were on their home during rush hour.   


According to the reports a discussion had been held before the strike was launched to discuss issues pertaining to recruitment of trainee staff with the union claiming the authorities acted against the recruitment policies. It was reported that the meeting had ended inconclusively.    A tense situation erupted at the Fort Railway Station soon after an announce that all trains had been cancelled causing irate passengers who were waiting for trains to go back home to enter the Station Master’s chamber. They demanded that officials make arrangements to somehow provide them with transport back home.    Several police teams were summoned to provide security to railway officials. They were able to bring the tense situation under control with much difficulty with the help of the Special Task Force (STF).    The authorities had later arranged around 20 private buses to transport the stranded passengers to other areas including Kandy and Matara. However, this measure did not go down well with the crowd as it did not satisfy the huge crowd that felt that they were being badly let down and wanted justice to be served.   


The authorities then attempted to refunded the fares paid by commuters for railway tickets that were already issued but more than half the crowd that had been stranded refused to leave the station complaining that they cannot reach their destinations in buses as it was already too late for such a decision to be taken.    Police, who seemed to be in control of the situation by around 8.30pm, had their efforts derailed after two trains arrived at the station unexpectedly.    Irate passengers then became boisterous and began climbing into the compartments of the trains that had just arrived and obstructed the railway track using benches that were left for passengers to sit on onto the railway track, thus preventing the train from leaving the station.    The crowd then became unruly and attempted to break into the room occupied by the engine operator and the guard’s room but were prevented from doing so by the police. However, the railway workers were trapped inside their rooms as the entire train had been surrounded by the crowd.