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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 110

Engine drivers get a whopping Rs.45,000 per month...........

[b]Engine drivers get a whopping Rs.45,000 per month – not earned even by a minister - Minister for Railways. [/b]

By Anne Rodrigo

[b]Colombo, 04 September, ([/b] As the island wide railway strike, launched by the engine drivers entered its fourth day on Saturday, Railways Minister Felix Perera vowed not to budge an inch and told the engine drivers that the Department is not their “monopoly”

The Locomotive Operating Engineers Union (LOEU) demanded that salary anomalies be corrected and the entry qualification for an engine driver be upgraded to a diploma.

Holding a salary copy of the Chairman of LOEU, L.K. Dissanayake -- citing a thumping Rs. 45,290.28 per month -- the Minister Perera commented that even his salary does not amount to this figure.

He argued that these engine drivers themselves were G.C.E. O/L qualified when they were recruited to the Department and now they are demanding the qualification be raised to a diploma. “Why? Because they want to maintain their monopoly”.

“ The Railways Department is for the benefit of the public. It is not for the benefit of the engine drivers”, Perera told an interview with the "Asian Tribune."

Minister observed that their name “Locomotive Operating Engineering Union” in itself is misleading since they do not fall into the category of the engineers. By a making a diploma which can only be obtained at Moratuwa University, mandatory, I think they are trying project the picture that they too are engineers.

“ Even I can drive a train. I did it once in China”, he said.

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