Cyprus Mail

Hotel workers to stage protest over low salaries

A protest march has been called for next Tuesday against low salaries and unfair employment conditions in the hotel industry, unions SEK, PEO and DEOK said.

Employees will march from SEK’s building in Nicosia to the labour ministry and the parliament where they will hand over a memo with their demands.

SEK and PEO representatives said hotel employees receive very low salaries, and threatened strike action this summer during the peak tourist season.

“If the situation continues we will for sure have turmoil this summer; Salaries of €500 and €600 are unacceptable,” said SEK’s Miltos Miltiadous.

“If by this summer no support measures for the employees are introduced there will be strikes,” echoed PEO’s Lefteris Georgiades.

The unions said that both employers and the labour ministry were indifferent to the employees’ grievances and that in the last few years hundreds of hotel employees covered by contracts had been fired under various pretences only to be replaced by people on lower salaries.

Employees being paid up to €700 with no other benefits, the unions said, are forced to work six days per week instead of five and their work conditions are constantly being changed by their employers while they are afraid to protest for fear of being fired.

The unions also said that hoteliers utilise the EU’s Erasmus and Da Vinci educational programmes to bring students from abroad as trainees on no salary, or they pay them as little as €200 to €300 to fill up actual job positions.

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