Construction work at the Vasilikos fuel storage terminal came to a halt on Thursday after workers staged an impromptu strike in protest at not having received their wages.
Fanos Georgiou, a spokesman for the workers, said that the Cypriot workers have not been paid their August wages, whereas other nationalities – Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians and Indians – have gone unpaid for two or more months.
The workers say the strike will continue until they receive the wages due them.
Under an agreement struck between the company, VTTV and the labour ministry’s mediation service, wages were to be paid from the 8th to the 12th of each month.
By not being paid in time, workers are finding it difficult to make ends meet, pay rent and meet their obligations, Georgiou said.
The fuel terminal at Vasilikos is one of the largest private-sector investments ever.
Later in the day VTTV said it had nothing to do with the strike.
In a statement, the company said it had no outstanding obligations to third parties involved in construction works at the fuel terminal.
“The reasons that led to today’s strike do not concern VTTV, although the strike will affect the timetable for completion of the project,” the company added.
The strikers were building part of a deep-water marine jetty, a major component of the giant fuel terminal complex at Vasilikos.
VTTV had recently announced that the first phase of its terminal project would open in October.
Cyprus-registered VTTV is a subsidiary of VTTI B.V. VTTI is a joint venture of two companies, with investments in oil storage terminals.
VTTI’s shareholders are the Dutch energy giant Vitol, one of the world’s largest energy trading companies, and MISC, a leading international shipping company, registered in the Malaysian stock market and owned by the state oil company Petronas.