Welgama lashes out at SLTB drivers


By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Transport Minister Kumara Welgama recently said that he had received a deluge of complaints against SLTB drivers about them giving their turns to private buses for money. This was a punishable offence committed by SLTB drivers most often and he would not hesitate to take severe disciplinary action against them.

Any SLTB employee could join any trade union in the SLTB, but they must ensure that their demands were legitimate and genuine. It was not sensible to launch wild-cat strikes just because other trade unions in the public sector were on the warpath, he said at a Ceremony held to hand over Appointments to 160 drivers and 140 conductors held at Narahenpita Shalika Hall recently.

Minister Welgama said that it was extremely important that SLTB drivers and conductors should work in coordination with the depot managers, because he had also received many complaints on conflicts between depot managers and drivers. The drivers and conductors should work with high ranking officials cordially.

He pointed out that the SLTB would operate all SLTB buses on joint timetables soon with the private buses, but to operate such services the SLTB was in need of 7500 buses. The SLTB had been operating only 5300 buses.

Minister Welgama added that the gratuity payment for 400 SLTB retired employees would be done on May 2 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was a great achievement on the part of the SLTB, because the gratuity payment process had been stagnant for a long time.

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