All employees of the rubbish collection units of the Famagusta district cluster area went on an impromptu work stoppage on Thursday calling for implementation of their collective agreement and warning that they will not return to their duties until their problems are resolved.

All 23 employees of the six rubbish collection units that serve the cluster – the municipalities of Sotira and Dherynia and the communities of Avgorou, Frenaros, Vrysoulles, Liopetri and Aheritou – went on an impromptu work stoppage early morning over reluctance by the council of the cluster to apply the provisions of the collective agreement.

According to trade union Peo, the workers decided they have no other option but to continue the strike measures until the problems are resolved. On Friday morning they will gather outside Sotira town hall and remain there throughout the working day.

Peo said the workers have authorised it to take all action so that their employer is convinced to apply the collective agreement mainly with regard to the regulation of the workload which creates serious problems concerning the accumulated number of overtime hours, the issue of working hours and the non-preparation of a weekly work schedule, refusal to apply compensation for those on standby, as well as the long delay in starting discussion for the renewal of the collective agreement.

The employees have been calling for the resolution of these problems for two years without result, the union said.

It added that the council of the cluster shows reluctance in entering into dialogue with Peo, as per the proposal by the labour ministry’s labour relations department.

The workers also said they support their colleagues that are employees of the Sotira municipality who have not been made permanent staff yet, though they are entitled, due to the local authority’s refusal.