By Evie Andreou
DEMANDING a say in the Construction Industry’s Provident Fund, members of the socialist-led DEOK builders’ union protested outside the fund’s offices in Nicosia yesterday.
DEOK’s acting general secretary Iosif Anastasiou said that there is a serious lack of democracy, transparency and proper management of the builders’ provident fund and that his union has been excluded from the management of the provident fund.
He also said that the provident fund does not have the financial ability to respond to the needs of its members due to bad investments and that members have no say in the fund’s general meetings.
DEOK said it is considering legal measures in order to ensure the fund’s members’ rights.
The president of the provident fund’s managing committee, Costas Roushias, explained that the provident fund was founded by employers represented by the Federation of Building Contractors (OSEOK) and by workers represented by trade unions PEO and SEK and that DEOK’s participation in the committee is a matter between the unions.
Michalis Papanikolaou, general secretary of the PEO builders’ union said that DEOK is a very small union and this is why it is not a member of the managing committee.
He said that a few years ago, the heads of all three unions, PEO, SEK and DEOK, had signed an agreement saying that for a union to be represented in the managing committee its members have to constitute at least 10 per cent in the relevant branch.
“DEOK has only 30 members enrolled in the fund,” he said.
Asked why no payments are made to unemployed members, he said that the provident fund’s liquidity is very low due to the fact that 10,000 active members are out of work and that most of the fund’s cash was spent on payments, with not enough now to pay those retiring.