Cyprus Mail

Strike to go ahead at Limassol port on Wednesday

Staff at Limassol port will stage a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, protesting at the same time outside the presidential palace, it was announced on Monday.

The council of ministers will meet at the presidential palace on Wednesday to appoint a court of arbitration to resolve the dispute. Port workers are against the process, and have refused to nominate their representative to the body.

According to trade union Segdamelin-Peo, at 11am on Wednesday a letter will be handed to President Nicos Anastasiades and to members of the council of ministers, explaining the reasons for the tallymen and dockworkers discontent.

Port workers are in a dispute with the cargo terminal operators over their collective agreement. They say they will not accept any alterations to the agreement attempted by the employers.

The government intends to appoint a court of arbitration to resolve the dispute to comprise of a judge, plus two other members representing the employers and the workers.

The port’s commercial operations were privatised at the beginning of 2017.

In a related issue, porters said that as of February 1 they will not permit any non-registered workers to work at the pier.

After the port was privatised, a disagreement emerged where the registered port workers at the time demanded that they handle 100 per cent of the general cargo in the terminal.

The transport ministry has been asked to furnish a legal opinion on the matter, which is still pending.

“The only path towards the restoration of normality is the withdrawal of these decisions, the end to violations of the collective agreement, and the immediate initiation of negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues,” the workers’ union said on Monday.

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