Head of Peo union, Sotiroulla Charalambous, on Monday told striking workers at the EKO gas bottling plant in Larnaca that it was unacceptable that they should have to reapply for their jobs when the plant moves to Vassiliko.
“We are witnessing an attempt to pressure workers to terminate their service and start afresh as if they were new recruits. This is unacceptable, is outside the law and outside labour conventions,” she said.
“We expect the immediate positioning of the labour minister on the matter and expect him to position himself based on the law and labour conventions.”
EKO’s workers at Hellenic Petroleum’s Larnaca gas bottling and distribution operation have been on strike since Friday over Hellenic Petroleum’s requirement to have them reapply for employment after its decision to move its bottling and distribution operation from Larnaca to Vasilikos area.
“The company under the pretext of transferring its gas bottling and distribution operations from Larnaca to Vasiliko…continues to blackmail workers by allegedly making them apply for employment in a ‘new’ company, they have agreed to found with the rest of the bottling companies, in order to render current workers as new hires and disrupt the continuity of their work, annul collective employment agreements, existing wages and current conditions of employment,” the worker’s announcement released on Friday read.
“Workers who fail to comply are threatened with being fired.”
Hellenic Petroleum had said on Saturday that said workers are not under its employment but are employed by an independent contractor undertaking gas bottling at Hellenic Petroleum’s facilities, and therefore the company bears no relation to the strike.
“We are not going to accept every time there is a transfer or a merger for whatever reason, much more so when the transfer takes place with incentives provided by the government, the victimisation of workers and the abandoning of collective agreements and return to personal contracts. This is an attempt at deregulations and therefore Peo will never accept it under any circumstance,” Charalambous said.
Peo’s head also stressed that this struggle did not just concern just the 10-15 workers but all the workers (64 in total) working at the LPG bottling companies who will be transferred to the new facilities.