Limassol bus drivers and their unions will take their strike to Nicosia on Thursday, the third day of the indefinite strike which started on Tuesday morning.
Unions Sek and Peo announced the Emel bus employees will gather outside the transport and labour ministries to protest on Thursday morning.
They have called for a meeting with the transport minister at 10.30am and with the labour minister at 11.30am to discuss the reasons which prompted the strike, which are that their March salaries have not been paid and workers have still not received outstanding sums from benefit cuts in place since 2014 due to the financial crisis.
Bus strikes have been on and off across the island since late last year over non-payment of wages on time. In each case, the strikes were soon called off after the intervention of the transport ministry which mediated for bridging the differences between striking employees and bus companies.
Nicosia and Larnaca bus companies, which had initially planned to strike as well this week, called the work stoppages off following assurances by their respective companies that salaries will be paid by next Tuesday and outstanding contributions to the provident fund will be settled during the next few days.
In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry expressed its deep regrets regarding the decision of Emel employees to proceed with the indefinite strike measures, and requested that they return to the table so that possible solutions can be discussed with the aim of restoring transport services to the public.
In an announcement later the same day, the confederation of parents’ organisations of public primary and secondary school students called for an end to the use of schoolchildren who rely on the buses to get to school as leverage to serve the interests of the parties involved in the strike.
The biggest blow is to students soon to graduate, who will next month be taking the national examinations, the parents said, adding that the parties involved in the strike should “avoid any measures which will affect these exams and by extension the future of our children”.