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EAC workers to stage two-hour strike on March 12

Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) employees said on Thursday they would go on a two-hour work-stoppage on March 12 over problems they say threaten the viability of the utility but also consumers’ interests.

The work stoppage will take place between 7.30am and 9.30am. Power supply will not be affected.

The workers’ trade unions, Epopai, Sidikek, Sepaik, Sivaik, announced that the work stoppage was over a number of issues.

One of them is refusal by the EAC management to sign agreements made on the health fund and other labour issues, as well as stalling in hiring more people to meet the understaffing problem.

The unions are also protesting interference by the finance ministry to the agreement achieved with the Natural Gas Public Company (Defa) on the utility’s participation to Etyfa, Defa’s subsidiary tasked with overseeing the construction of infrastructure for the arrival of natural gas to the island.

“The finance ministry’s involvement endangers both EAC’s investment but also the implementation and viability of the project,” the unions said.

They also question decisions hindering the EAC from setting up photovoltaic parks and integrating them into its production which would benefit consumers since it would be able to provide cheaper electricity.

The unions said the EAC should not and cannot bear the cost for the installation of mobile units to be able to meet power production needs for this summer.

The EAC was forced to install these units due to delays on the arrival of natural gas, caused by stalling on behalf of the energy ministry to give the necessary clarifications requested by the utility so that it could be able to make decisions on the matter.

“These delays have led to the need to install mobile units for production adequacy for summer 2020 at a huge additional cost,” the unions said.

The unions said that it appears that the Board of Directors of the EAC, “the largest organisation in the country that is the pillar of economic development, renounces its institutional role and the powers conferred on it by the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, enabling the state to interfere while it fails to make the right strategic decisions, jeopardising the viability of the organisation and disturbing labour peace.”

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