Cyprus Mail

Thousands without transport as Paphos bus strike continues

The Paphos bus strike entered a second day on Thursday as drivers for bus company Osypa continued their protest over not having received their December salaries.

Spokesman for the drivers Christos Evangelou said they would continue the work stoppages if their salaries are not paid on time every month. He said he regretted that no progress had been made and reiterated the ministry of transport and the bus company need to find a solution to the ongoing funding dispute.

While the bus company asks for money from the ministry, the ministry claims it is the company which owes money to the government rather than the other way around.

The current strike is affecting 8,500 people, about 5,000 pupils and about 3,500 other passengers.

Meanwhile, the parents’ associations of the Paphos technical school and the Emba lyceum have asked students not to attend their first two classes in the morning, to highlight the problems they face with bus schedules. Outside Paphos, more than 50 per cent of students rely on the buses.

President of the secondary school parents association Kyriakos Nikiforou warned measures will be escalated if no solution is found, adding that “nobody can play with the education of children”.

Head of the elementary school parents association Andreas Nicolaou asked for buses to be made available to transport the pupils.

The transport ministry on Wednesday called on the bus drivers to call off the strike, saying Osypa has already received the ministry’s funding for December and is therefore obliged to meet its obligations by paying employees.

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