Workers from the Larnaca bus company Zenon went on an impromptu two-hour stoppage on Friday afternoon to protest over receiving only 40 per cent of their salaries.
The work stoppage is taking place between 2.30pm and 4.30pm.
Trade unions Sek, Peo and Deok said that employees decided to stop work after they were told that they will receive the rest of their salaries next Thursday when the government pays the company the next instalment of the state subsidy.
The stoppage is not due to the delay but to payroll being linked to any money the company is owed to by the government, said Sek union representative Nicos Koliandris.
“This cannot be tolerated,” Koliandris said.
He said that unions do not agree with workers having to wait for money transfers ‘which we do not control and we don’t know when and under which conditions are being made, so that they can get paid’.
“We are against this and we cannot accept it,” he said.
Any problems that may exist, he said, must be resolved by the company, the transport ministry and the government.
“We expect to get paid on time each month and in full,” Koliandris said.
Unions said that Zenon is also illegally withholding workers’ contributions amounting to 170,000 euros, which it is using to pay its creditors. They said that the transport ministry is aware of this.
Bus companies have been facing financial problems over the last few years after the government decided to deduct from the annual subsidy it is giving them money to recover the overpayments it recently discovered it made to them.