By Staff reporter
LIMASSOL port will be out of commission from today as porters have announced they will stage an indefinite strike.
The workers have been protesting pay-cuts and accuse the ports authority of having reneged on their collective labour agreements.
A 24-hour warning strike saw the port employees gather outside the port in protest, but port operations were not disrupted as the few scheduled tasks were performed by the shareholders of the Limassol Licensed Porters’ Association.
Similar strikes two months ago halted all commercial activity in and out of the island as trade unions objected to government plans to proceed with the privatisation of semi-government organisations, including the Cyprus Ports Authority, over the next four years.
In an effort to avoid escalation this week, the Labour Ministry informed the unions of its mediating proposal, which was unanimously rejected by the porters who reaffirmed their intention to strike indefinitely.
It is expected that seven commercial ships will not be serviced, while a total 1,400 containers will remain unloaded.
SEK union spokesman Titos Timotheou said that despite the concerted effort to address the dispute, the association was not receptive and the conflict escalated. He apologised to everyone who would be impacted by the strike, and said that the porters will insist on their positions until their demands are met.