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Emilianidou: many workers don’t know their rights

Many workers do not know their rights, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Monday at the launch of a month-long campaign aiming to inform employees of private companies on labour legislation.

Emilianidou said that her ministry haD launched two campaigns; one on health and safety in the workplace which will last a week, and a month-long one on the rights and obligations of employers and employees.

“There is great need to inform workers on their rights. Many do not know what their rights are,” Emilianidou said.

The aim, she said, is to inform as many workers as possible during the campaign on labour legislation. Actions include informational visits to small and large businesses.

The campaign is also supported by workers’ unions but also by the Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEV) and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve), Emilianidou said.

“It is very important that we all in unison, inform, but also safeguard workers’ rights,” she said,

According to Emilianidou many workers are not aware of many provisions of the labour legislation, like salary, leave, and the 13th salary.

“All rights are very important to us and that is why we focus on all of them,” Emilianidou said.

As regards the dialogue between workers’ unions and employers on the cost of living allowance (CoLA) that begun earlier in the month, Emilianidou said that at the moment she was having separate meetings with the stakeholders in an effort to find common ground. The aim is for CoLA, which was frozen in 2011 in the public sector and in 2012 in the private sector, to be applied in January.

The main disagreement between the two sides, is that employers say that when CoLA is reintroduced it must also reflect times of negative inflation which would lead to wage cuts. This is opposed by the unions which argue salaries have already been slashed due to the economic crisis.

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