Workers at the EKO gas bottling and distribution plant in Larnaca called off their strike on Tuesday after reviewing a letter sent to them by the labour ministry the previous day.

They had 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 Vasiliko. 

The workers decided to go on strike as a last resort “to protect their jobs and terms of employment”, union Peo said. 

“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,” Peo head Sotiroula Charalambous had said on Monday.  

She also called for Labour Minister Kyriacos Koushos’ position on the matter, which later came in the form of a letter from the ministry’s department of labour relations.  

In a written statement on Tuesday, the union said it will await the consultations that will follow under the labour ministry “so that an arrangement is agreed upon for the transfer of the workers to the new facilities in accordance with the criteria included in the department’s letter”.  

Otherwise, “and if the companies continue not showing a constructive spirit,” the union said the workers would return to “aggressive mobilisation”.