Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Employers warn of consequences if strikes go ahead

THE Employers Federation (OEV) yesterday warned over unintended consequences of striking and rallying against privatisations and austerity, while unions said they had no choice but to react against the country’s dismal social and financial prospects.

The director general of OEV said protesting without offering any viable alternatives was short sighted, if understandable.

“I would be the first to participate in any mobilisation if they told where we would find the money we owe and expect to get [from Cyprus’ lenders],” Michalis Pilikos said.

But he said authorities must prepare a privatisation plan of semi government companies to secure the release of the next tranche of bailout funds, so protesting against privatisations was akin to repeating past mistakes. He mentioned the original bailout proposal involving a levy on all local bank deposits, which parliament rejected without alternatives.

Cyprus was then landed with a “much, much worse option,” Pilikos said.

POAS – an umbrella union representing mostly semi-governmental organisations – has said it was mulling to strike before December 5 to protest against privatisations. A number of unions including major trade unions PEO and DEOK, farmers’ unions, and teachers’ unions will rally on December 14 against “harsh austerity” and privatising these organisations. They justified their decision to strike because the alternative, they said yesterday, would be to sit idle ignoring the wretchedness around them.

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