Cyprus Mail

Hints of strike action as hoteliers and workers tussle over collective agreements

Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou

Unions representing hotel workers were meeting on Friday to discuss how to tackle the impasse caused by hoteliers’ refusal to renew their workers’ collective agreements.

In response to what appears to be an imminent labour crisis in the hotel industry, unions SEK and PEO have warned that all options are on the table, including strikes, should hoteliers continue to refuse to renew the collective agreements of hotel workers.

Recently the labour ministry has been attempting to mediate between the hoteliers and unions, to no avail. Though the unions are pressuring the ministry to officially declare an impasse due to the unwavering positions of hoteliers, the ministry has insisted that more time be given for deliberations between the two parties.

President of the hoteliers’ association (Pasyxe) Haris Loizides said that the continuation of the labour ministry’s mediation efforts signal that an impasse has yet to be reached.

Labour minister Zeta Emilianidou is expected to hold separate meetings with the workers’ unions and hotelier organisations on August 20 and 23, before wrapping up talks with a final two-day joint meeting on August 26 and 27. Union reps have stated their disappointment at the ministry’s delay in its attempts to resolve the matter.

Among the issues remaining to be resolved are the hotel workers’ demands for the introduction of a payroll scale, as provided for in hotel terms of employment. Hotel workers are also demanding the addition of minimum wage rates and the 13th salary into the employment terms.

Piling onto the worker’s demands, unions are also demanding the restoration of hotel workers’ benefits which were scrapped at the end of 2012 as a result of the economic crisis.

PEO union rep Lefteris Georgiades told media that hotel workers’ benefits, such as a 4 per cent annual increase in wages, were wrongly scrapped as the hotel industry had not been significantly affected by the crisis.

Georgiades said that hoteliers were initially positive to these demands, but later shifted position and now remain unwaveringly negative.


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