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Cyprus

Larnaca bus workers to go on strike

Employees from Larnaca’s Zenon bus company will strike from Thursday over the failure of their employers to pay government contributions for five months, unions said on Tuesday.

Peo, Sek and Deok transport branches said the company has failed to pay into the employees’ provident funds, provident loan funds, medical insurance funds, welfare funds and holiday funds since February.

“The cuts are being made to employee salaries, and they should immediately be deposited into the funds,” the unions said.

They added the issue has been taken up with the company and the transport ministry many times, without receiving any notification.

According to the unions, since the buses tender for the city is set to change hands as of July 5 the employees will strike until their funds are paid into.

On July 5, the operation of the buses is expected to be handed over to the newly formed Cyprus Public Transport company.

The six bus companies Nicosia’s Osel, Limassol’s Emel, Larnaca’s Zenon, Paphos’ Osypa, Famagusta bus operator Osea and Intercity buses previously held the concessions for public transport, but most of them lost out to MLKP consortium, comprising Malta Lines and Kapnos Airport Shuttle Services. The current contracts, for the 2010-2020 period, are due to expire on July 4. The next ten-year concessions will be valid from July 2020 to July 2030.

The consortium was initially awarded four contracts to operate public transport in Nicosia, Larnaca, Famagusta, and the intercity routes for the period 2020 to 2030, but the current holders of these services challenged the validity of the competition, each with court procedures.

The court ruled in favour of MLKP for Larnaca and Nicosia with the company announcing that it will be assuming operations of these bus routes as of July 5.

MLKP will operate the routes through the Cyprus Public Transport company.

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