Cyprus Mail

Baggage handlers to discuss more measures after two-hour Paphos strike

Photo: CNA

Around 70 ground staff at Paphos airport staged a lightning two-hour strike on Saturday night over possible redundancies, affecting a total of eight flights where passengers could not collect their luggage.
A meeting will be held on Monday to decide the next steps.

The work stoppage between 8pm and 10pm affected flights arriving from the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK.

In his statements to CNA, district secretary of Sek Paphos, Petros Demosthenous, said that staff of LGS staged the strike following information that the company would lose the easyJet contract and that a new handler would take it over with some LGS staff losing their jobs.

The trade unions for a year, Demosthenous said, warned both Hermes and the ministry of transport that if they intended to liberalise baggage handling inside the airport they should make sure that the new handlers commit to hiring existing staff in case of redundancies from other companies operating there.

He said this had not been done with the result that approximately 70 employees of LGS in Paphos and approximately 40 employees at Larnaca were left exposed and there is a possibility of losing their jobs.

“What we were asking for is to guarantee that every handler should apply the collective agreements and at the same time to ensure the continuity of employment”.

He pointed out that the first part has been achieved through the decree and through the agreement that Hermes makes with the new handlers.

The rest had not been achieved, he added.

They will meet again on Monday. The unions will also meet with the transport ministry early in the morning to see if a solution can be found before they decide on further measures.
Peo union also weighed in, telling CNA that with the arrival of a new handling company, the future of existing workers was uncertain.

“We call on the responsible minister and the managing company of the airport to immediately provide solutions and answers,” a spokesman said.


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