Cyprus Mail

AKEL says ‘essential services’ bill to strip workers of rights

Akel spokesman Stefanos Stefanou

A BILL submitted by ruling DISY’s chief Averof Neophytou to regulate strikes in essential services is an attempt to strip employees of their strongest weapon to defend their rights, main opposition AKEL blasted on Friday.

In a statement expressing its disagreement with Neophytou’s proposal, it said there was already a 2004 agreement regulating strikes.

The bill “is part of the government’s continuous efforts they are reinforcing as of late… to frighten society,” AKEL’s Stephanos Stephanou said in a statement.

Neophytou’s proposal prohibits strikes and counter strikes in essential services at any stage of an ongoing process to resolve differences and before a decision by an arbitration committee.

The proposal defines as ‘essential’, services that are necessary for control, processing, and distribution of fuel, uninterrupted supply of power, water supply, telecommunications, radio communication, air transport, hospitals, ports, prisons, customs, sewerage, waste management, refuse collection, and maintenance and repair of electromechanical installations in hospitals, airports, and National Guard, fire service, and police facilities.

The strike must ensure a minimum level of service be maintained.

It provides for jail time of not more than two years or a fine of up to €3,000 for anyone breaking the law.


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