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Limassol bus strike ends, but threat of further action

File Photo: Limassol bus drivers on strike (CNA)

Although the 48-hour bus strike came in Limassol came to a close on Wednesday, drivers have not ruled out escalating their measures, even with an indefinite strike.

Drivers for Limassol bus company Emel began their strike on Tuesday in a bid to have concessions they made in wages and benefits in 2014 reinstated.

A seven hour marathon negotiation at the transport ministry on Monday between Emel and drivers yielded no results, with the latter arguing that full restoration is a company obligation and non-negotiable.

On Wednesday, Sek and Peo unions issued an announcement saying their members in a secret vote decided to escalate their measures but not in the immediate future “leaving yet again, a window open for dialogue aiming to permanently resolve the differences”.

Drivers sought to stress they were not after wage increases but simply wanted to go back to the salaries and benefits they had before they conceded them in 2014.

They were ready to begin dialogue as soon as possible, the announcement said but an indefinite strike was on the cards.

The strikers met at the central bus station near the old Limassol hospital in the morning and repeated their message that they were only asking for what had already been agreed and warned they would intensify their actions.

Parents appealed to drivers earlier this week saying school children were being affected and it was no fault of their own.

The drivers asked for the public’s understanding, arguing they had no other way of claiming their rights and appealed to the company to resolve the dispute once and for all.


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