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Cyprus

Thousands affected by Paphos bus strike after May Day holiday (Update 2)

The empty Osypa bus terminal in Paphos

Thousands of people were affected on Wednesday after the Paphos Transport Organisation (Osypa) bus company called an indefinite strike in protest over not being paid for April.

The company’s 117 vehicles remained stationary, with the 237 drivers and other staff warning that they would not return to work unless they received their salaries.

They also want assurances they will be properly paid at the end of every month.

Christos Evangelos, a spokesperson for the drivers of Osyra, said the employees were informed three days ago by the company that they were unable to pay wages because it had not received their state subsidy.

Staff said once they were paid, they would return to work and apologised to the public for the inconvenience.

The transport ministry said they were “making every possible effort to resolve the problem as soon as possible” however reports say Osypa didn’t receive the subsidy due to overpayments in the past.

The company is rumoured to have liquidity problems.

Education ministry inspector for secondary schools Stelios Theofilou said in the past around 350 to 400 students had been affected by strikes.

Wednesday’s protest though had affected three times more.

In total, 1,100 students out of 5,7000 use public transport, he told state radio.

The education ministry also announced that students who were not able to make it to school because they could not find alternative means of transport would not be marked as absent.

Nonetheless, the parents’ association for secondary school pupils said the strike was adversely affecting thousands of pupils, especially those who were set to take national exams in two weeks.

They called on the company and employees to exclude school routes from the strike and the transport ministry to work towards resolving the problem immediately.

They said they respected the right of workers to seek their rights but they should also respect the right of children to get to school easily.

 

 


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