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Transport ministry covers March salaries of striking bus drivers

Emel employees on strike last week

The transport ministry has paid a monthly sum to bus company Emel which is sufficient to cover the wages of the workers, Transport Minister Vasiliki Anastasiadou told striking Limassol bus drivers on Thursday.

The bus drivers were to meet with Labour Minister Zeta Aimilianidou on Thursday afternoon to discuss whether the pledge to pay their salaries meant an end to the strike.

Anastasiadou said she had already spoken to the company on the issue of salaries and said they should be paid immediately, since “non-payment is a wrongful act”.

She was speaking after receiving a delegation of the employees and their unions in her office. They had travelled in four buses from the Limassol district to protest 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.

Protesting outside the transport and labour ministries, the workers were holding banners saying “No to unilateral decisions” and “The payment of salaries is our inalienable right”.

The bus drivers have been on strike since Tuesday, which created problems for public transport, especially for students.

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.

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