Cyprus Mail

Warning of holiday meat shortage due to strike

MEAT importers and slaughterhouse owners are planning to go on strike on Monday as veterinary services staff are refusing to work overtime, which may create shortage over the holiday August weekend.

“State vets want to finish work at 3pm. We cannot be serviced within this timeframe,” leader of meat traders Akis Melis said.

Importers are warning that people will be left with no meat and there will be problems with the quality.

Meat importers and slaughterhouse owners went to the veterinary services yesterday to outline their demands however this proved to be unsuccessful. They are now thrashing out details of their strike measures.

“What we are asking is that during days or periods that there are demands to serve people and slaughter animals, we have the appropriate response from the vet services or the ministry of finance,” said Melis.

“This is our request; nothing absurd. Of course we don’t want people working and the state paying them when this is not necessary but when they are needed we should have them,” slaughterhouse representative Tasos Tsingis said.

According to CyBC sources, veterinary services asked their employees to work overtime with the promise they would exert efforts to pay them the amount they deserved but this went against a decision they took in previous meetings to abstain from overtime.

Without the extra hours, the demand, which is almost double in the lead up to August 15 will not be met, meat traders said.

Other CyBC sources outline that the issue was a shortage of staff and not that they were refusing to “respond appropriately to emergency situations”.

This is a long standing problem, they added while there are gaps in the way the slaughterhouses operate and no proper management on how the animals are transported for slaughter.

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