Cyprus Mail

Ground handling workers mull labour minister’s proposal, LGS accepts

Unions representing workers at the ground handling companies at Cypriot airports will decide on Tuesday on a proposal submitted by labour minister Zeta Emilianidou in a last minute attempt to prevent a strike that could upset the tourism industry, a union official said.

An industry source said that LGS Handling Ltd, a unit of Louis Plc and Greece’s Goldair Handling, already accepted the minister’s proposal submitted late on Monday. Swissport Cyprus Ltd, a unit of the Zurich-based Swissport, declined to comment.

Workers will consider whether to accept the proposal which will allow the renewal of the collective agreements or not at separate assemblies in Larnaca and Paphos, Elysseos Michael, head of the private worker’s division at SEK, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

The union official said that the proposal “contains both positive and negative elements” and rejected to provide additional information before union members receive a briefing.

Zeta EmilianidouThe industry source said that while Emilianidou’s proposal provides for the return of the collective agreements to their pre-2013 status and longer working days in the summer and shorter in the winter, reflecting the seasonality of airport traffic. In addition, workers will be compensated for work on public holidays with a day off without receiving pay.

Both LGS and Swissport employ around 800 workers in the winter season and around 1,200 in the summer.

The Cyprus Business Mail understands that Swissport, which lost a considerable part of its business when Cyprus Airways and Russia’s Transaero became insolvent last year, and the labour minister agreed to continue consultations and reach a separate agreement by the end of June.

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