Cyprus Mail

Agreement reached in airport workers’ dispute

Threats of airport strikes during the busy summer season have abated as the unions representing airport workers announced on Monday that they had accepted labour ministry proposals.

The breakthrough came following a meeting of representatives of Larnaca and Paphos airport staff which took place earlier in the day. The unions of SEK, PEO and DEOK said the proposals Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou had submitted earlier in the day after a weekend of negotiations were acceptable to all parties.

Flights were disrupted at both Larnaca and Paphos airports last week when ground services staff working for Swissport and LGS staged work stoppages.

The workers claimed their employers were violating collective agreements.

Negotiations had reached a dead-end following a 14-month period of negotiations with the two companies.

Union representatives had said employers were demanding the workers be paid normal rates when working on holidays and had unilaterally withheld pay increments. They maintained the two companies were demanding reductions in salaries and in provident fund contributions, while one of them had signed agreements with part-time staff under which they would not be paid extra for working on holidays, thus violating collective agreements.

The unions thanked the minister for the work she had done to break the deadlock and said the workers and trade unions reiterated their willingness to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the dispute. The minister’s proposal largely satisfied the various issues raised concerning the implementation and extension of collective agreements, the unions said.


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