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Bus drivers in Paphos and Limassol call off strike (updated)

Public transport is set to return to normal on Wednesday after Paphos bus company Osypa employees agreed on Tuesday to join those from Limassol in calling off strike measures after receiving government promises that a solution to the company’s problems will be found within the next two days.

As a sign of good will, the around 120 striking Osypa employees will return to work on Wednesday morning, 48 hours after their strike started, Osypa’s Christos Evangelou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

Evangelou added that if a solution is not found in the next 48 hours, Osypa employees would resume their strike measures.

Earlier in the day, Osypa was clear it would not give any ground unless employees were paid their November salary, and received guarantees that their December and 13th salaries will be paid.

Some 5,000 pupils and 3,500 passengers are affected daily by the Paphos strike.

Employees of Limassol bus company Emel will also return to work on Wednesday, joining Larnaca’s Zenon employees who called off strike measures slated for Tuesday.

Emel workers and unions decided during a general assembly on Tuesday morning to give one more chance to the ongoing dialogue between the company and the government regarding financial matters, and to postpone indefinite strike measures launched on Monday.

As promised by the company on Monday, when the government signed off on a financial contribution of around €800,000, Emel employees received their November salaries on Tuesday, CNA reported.

Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou called on all striking companies and employees on Monday to call off all strike measures to give way to talks, through which payments can be decided with companies.

The transport ministry announced on November 21 it would start to claim back money it overpaid in the past to all six public bus companies from December, cutting the monthly subsidies which the companies in turn use to pay their employees.

The bus companies claim that the ministry on the contrary owes money to them.

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