Cyprus Mail

Port drivers return to work after demands satisfied

Limassol port

Vehicle operators at Limassol port returned to work on Friday afternoon after being paid in full by their employer for overtime work carried out on the Epiphany holiday on January 6.

The 64 operators went on strike on Thursday until around 3pm on Friday over their employer’s decision to stop paying them overtime for holiday work, they said.

The employer, Eurogate, said the dispute arose after two shift crews were asked to work on Epiphany to serve a freighter. Due to rough seas however, the workers were not deployed but the company paid both shift crews four hours of overtime, despite not working at all, the company said.

Unions said the agreement with the management provides that vehicle operators be paid overtime in full, irrespective of the actual working hours.

Eurogate’s container terminal was not able to serve clients as regards loading or unloading of cargo during the work stoppage.

On Friday, the workers said their abstention from their duties for the second day was not a strike since they were only asking the implementation of what has been agreed between them and their employer.

They also accused the company of taking unilateral decisions at their expense.

Sek union rep, Yiannis Tsouris, said that the workers demanded respect to their employment terms and better working conditions.

He also said that it was the company’s fault that the terminal remained closed.

Christos Christofi from Peo also said this was not a strike and rejected the accusations of the company that the workers were in violation of the industrial relations code, saying this was not the case.

Sources told the Cyprus News Agency later in the day that the workers agreed to return to their duties immediately after Eurogate satisfied their demand.

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