Cyprus Mail

Larnaca bus drivers on strike

BUS DRIVERS in Larnaca went on strike on Monday after they received a letter informing them that they would have their salaries cut by 5 per cent and overtime pay reduced from the beginning of March.

Around 100 drivers from Larnaca Bus Company Zenon took part in the work stoppage to protest the company board’s unilateral decision to cut their salaries.

Trade union PEO’s district secretary Nadia Kyritsis said that the company had sent out letters to each driver separately, ignoring the trade unions and the procedure of negotiating contracts with the Labour Ministry, informing them that at the end of February their salaries would be cut by 5 per cent.

“The letter also said that there would be more cuts from their benefits which are safeguarded in their collective agreements. In response, around 100 drivers took part in an unplanned strike,” she said.

Their protest lasted until 1pm.

Member of the bus company’s board Yiannis Panagos said that since last month the government had decided to cut €10 million from the funding it gives bus companies around Cyprus.

“Zenon bus company was receiving €647,000 a month and following the cut will only be receiving €520,000,” he said.

He said that the government said that no routes would be stopped. This cut, plus the increasing price of fuel made a wage cut inevitable he said.

“It was decided that the only measure that would work was cutting drivers monthly salary by 5 per cent and also by decreasing the money given for overtime,” Panagos said.

Panagos said that the trade unions were asked to find a solution to the problem but had failed. He said that an emergency board meeting had been called.

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