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Divided hauliers reject Eurogate deal, remain outside port (Update)

After lorry drivers rejected the agreement struck by container terminal operator Eurogate and Povek, to compensate them for time lost while waiting at the Limassol port late on Wednesday, the hauliers continue to refrain from work, prompting the head of their union Giorgos Charalambous to resign.

“The gate is open but hauliers are not entering the port,” Giorgos Pouros, Eurogate’s Limassol port manager said in a telephone interview on Thursday.
The agreement, which provides for a €50 compensation payable to every driver for every additional hour a haulier spends inside the port over two hours, disappointed a portion of the lorry drivers who expected a lower threshold.

“We were authorised to talk to the company,” Kyriacos Moustakas, an official of Povek, an umbrella organisation which represents smaller companies as well as professionals, said in an interview to state radio CyBC. “This was achieved. If some folks want to have their trucks (parked) at home while getting compensation, this cannot be done”.

Charalambous said in a telephone interview that he was no longer aware of what could follow the rejection of the agreement based on terms submitted to Eurogate by the union.

Transport minister Marios Demetriades, who oversaw the process of the Limassol port commercialisation over the past three years, said that the ministry continues to monitor the situation, including the implementation of measures announced by Eurogate to eliminate the delays at the container terminal.

“We have sent a stern letter to the company,” Demetriades told CyBC on Thursday. “We expect some concrete additional measures which they listed but we want to have this in writing. I expect that things will normalise following the agreement but let’s wait a while to see whether the agreement is kept, which was not a (a result of a) proposal of the company but of the professional drivers”.

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