The government and the Cyprus Hotel Association on Friday called on the unions to stop washing their dirty laundry in public as it was having a negative effect on tourism.
Unions representing hotel workers had threatened industrial action in an attempt to force hoteliers to comply with recently enacted laws governing employment terms, and refrain from hiring staff at cheaper rates on individual contracts.
Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou, said collective agreements and regulations between employers and employees in the hotel industry should be respected and both sides must comply with the law.
“We discussed the problems the hotel industry has been facing over the last few days. I would like to say I believe, and we all agreed, that with dialogue, any problems we encounter can be overcome. As a ministry, we believe the collective agreements must be respected.” Emilianidou said speaking after holding separate meetings with hotel union bosses and industry employers. She reiterated that any agreements made between employees and employers, whether collective or individual had to adhere to the labour laws pertaining to hotels. Emilianidou also said that the tourism industry did not benefit from the public discussion of disagreements. She said what was important was that workers respected their conditions of employment and that there was no exploitation.
It was agreed at the meetings that the ministry’s competent committees would be activated to discuss any problems that might arise.
The chairman of the Cyprus Hotel Association Haris Loizides called on its members to fully comply with the laws and the unions to lower the tone of the discussion saying “announcements and war cries affect the tourist markets” and warning of circumstances that could harm the tourist season, the best on record in recent years.
“The message we want to send to all my fellow hoteliers is to fully comply with the legislation. Whether individual contracts or collective agreements, the law is above all.” Loizides said.
Union representatives also left satisfied from the meeting saying they looked forward to the implementation of the measures agreed and the starting of inspections at hotels with any breaches of regulations being reported.
Lefteris Georgiades, who heads the branch responsible for labour relations in the hotel industry in PEO, the AKEL-affiliated union said that the unions made clear their position of principle that collective agreements agreed and signed must be fully respected in order smoothness and labour peace prevail.
“There seems to be an approach which if accepted by all, works out to a considerable extent the problems presented today at least,” he said.
Miltos Miltiadou, general secretary of the hotel division of SEK, the right-wing labour union said that in the meeting the Minister reiterated statements made by the President of the Republic at the hoteliers’ conference days ago calling for full implementation of collective agreements and regulations.
Miltiadou urged hoteliers to respect collective agreements and stressed that any contracts, signed with its employees in any case should not be inferior to collective agreements.