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News  


 

Bus strike unlikely

By S. Selvakumar
The private bus strike scheduled to commence midnight today is very unlikely since the main private bus owners’ association and the state transport authority are likely to reach a compromise over the minimum fare hike.
Bus owners demanded the present minimum fare of Rs. 6 be increased to Rs.8 while the state was willing to settle at Rs. 7.
The largest private bus operators’ association which owns 15,000 buses and employees around 30,000 yesterday said that it was open for further discussions with the authorities in a bid to avert a strike that would inconvenience thousands of commuters, islandwide.
President of the Private Bus Owners’ Association Gemunu Wijeratne told The Nation that they would launch the strike from midnight and would decide on Monday whether to restrict it to a token protest or continue. “Our Board will take decision on it on Monday,” Wijeratne said.
He said among other demands their main concern was on the minimum fare and if a compromise could be reached on this issue they would reconsider their decision to strike.
Minister of Private Bus Transport C.B. Ratnayake who initially said a firm no to any revision on the minimum bus fare issue subsequently relented and said that he, too, was ready for further discussions.
The fare revision was to be effected from July 1.

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