Cyprus Mail

Scramble to reach agreement with port workers

Authorities are trying to reach an agreement with port unions that have an announced they will not be working overtime as of Wednesday while port pilots plan to strike on Friday.

Limassol port chief Andreas Pouros said there were ongoing meetings in Nicosia with the unions to try and resolve the problem.

Although unions have been reassured they will still keep their jobs despite the privatisation of the Cyprus Ports Authority, Pouros said they were seeking written confirmation.

If an agreement is not reached, ships will not be able to dock or set sail. “The problem isn’t just for the weekend. Those left over from the weekend will be moved to Monday and things will pile up. It’s a chain reaction,” he added.

Upon privatisation of the ports, the authority will be transferred to a private investor and although they have been promised they will keep their jobs, the process entails that they will need to be “fired” from their current posts and be re-hired.

SYALK union is reportedly seeking an intervention from President Nicos Anastasiades to allow the privatisation to go ahead without them losing their posts.

Daily Phileleftheros quoted a letter the union sent to the ministry of transport demanding explanations as to why it refused any discussions for their suggestion that port staff buy the services.

They have also announced an indefinite strike on July 17.

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