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Cyprus

Stranded ships in Limassol being serviced

Port workers on strike (CM archives)

By Evie Andreou

ALL ships that were waiting to be loaded or unloaded after port workers refused to put in overtime are now being serviced, Limassol Port chief George Pouros said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, two ships were held up from departing and another from docking, but Pouros said the matter was sorted out as no ship was left unattended on Thursday.

He added that the main concern is for the weekend as no incoming or outgoing ships will be serviced, but that only one or two vessels will be affected.

Port workers announced the measure as a reaction to the port’s privatisation plan, while unions want written reassurances that their members will not lose their jobs under any new administration.

They have also announced an indefinite strike on July 17.

The measures did not please the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) that said the measures will paralyse the transport sector and this translates to millions in damage.

These kinds of behaviour are “unnecessary, unjustifiable and destructive”, KEVE said and the only thing achieved is to undermine growth.

Thechamber also called for “prompt action against all those who do not realise that the dangerous path they follow could only cause disastrous regression to the economy and society”.

“The strike measures will not be allowed to thwart the plans for privatisation, which is a prerequisite for the smooth development of the economic adjustment programme (with international lenders), but rather confirm the need for a change in the way the ports operate,” it said.

It also called the port authority’s union as being “over privileged” and said it is unacceptable that unions use blackmail tactics “to ensure the so-called rights of their members”.

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