Cyprus Mail

Port pilots clinch deal with minister, strike averted

Port pilots scheduled to strike in Limassol’s port on Monday suspended the measures after an agreement was clinched with Transport Minister Marios Demetriades.

Union head Demetris Patsalos said the deal allowed for pilots to communicate with the potential investor and possibly strike a deal, a request that had so far been rejected by the state.

This now leaves a window of opportunity for pilots to have a stake – indirectly – in the privatisation process of the port’s operations and thus ensure the future of the current employees, they said.

Their request that they be outright responsible for the operations in a bid to ensure the workers future rights however was not agreed.

“We reached a point where it would not be justified or right for us to proceed with any measures. There is willingness from the ministry’s part to support us to the extent it can, so we can be ensured in the matters we are after,” Patsalos said.

The union boss also sought to stress port pilots should be Cypriot and whoever the potential investor may be should maintain an all Cypriot staff.

According to Patsalos, after a meeting between the pilot reps and Demetriades on Thursday, they sent him a letter on Friday morning which he responded to within the day, granting their requests.

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