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Cyprus

EAC trade union disagrees with scheduled strike, says will not participate

electricity authority, EAC

One of the five trade unions of the electricity authority’s workers said on Monday it will not participate in the scheduled 12-hour strike this week announced by the other four unions.

The independent union of technical and labour staff of the Cyprus Electricity Authority said that although it supports any effort to assert welfare and safety rights, it refuses to participate in strike actions with unclear purpose.

Saying that the union failed to receive detailed and official reasons and purposes for the work stoppage, it extended a warning to its participants.

“We warn that participation in strike actions and struggles whose purposes are not clear from the outset and officially recorded by the organisers, carries the risk of manipulation of the participants to assert demands that do not concern them or that may not be in agreement with them,” the union said.

The other four unions of workers in EAC have chosen not to include a portion of colleagues working in the organisation in the consultation and decision making on the purposes and organisation of the measures.

In its statements, the union said that it had sent a letter to the four trade unions inviting them to a joint consultation and “to join in a common struggle if necessary, which they deliberately and purposefully chose to ignore.”

The strike will take place on Wednesday from 7am to 7pm following a warning one-hour work stoppage last Thursday.

EAC board of directors said they were not in support of the strike as its measures would inconvenience the public and hurt the electricity authority.

A core union demand is the opening up of 370 job positions, including mechanics and network specialists. The finance ministry’s budget, however, greenlighted only 145 positions.

Renewable energy sources are also a source of contention, as unions demand that any interference by other state services should be scrapped so EAC can diversify its energy offerings and reduce the cost of production.

The Dhekelia power plant is an additional sticking point, with the union claiming it is being mishandled, demanding the outdated and cost-inefficient units to be upgraded.

The union complaints come as the industry is set for a significant shakeup – although the ever-elusive date for opening up the electricity market appears to have been pushed back to 2023.

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