A meeting between all sides in the electricity authority’s (EAC) dispute has been postponed on Friday due to an illness of the Labour minister Kyriacos Koushos.
The meeting that was expected to take place at noon on Friday in an effort to reach an agreement and prevent strike action threatened by EAC trade unions, had to be put off after Koushos, who would act as the mediator, fell sick.
According to the relevant announcement, the discussion will be rescheduled once the labour minister returns to his duties.
Apart from Koushos, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides, Energy Minister Natasa Pilides and representatives of the Electricity Authority unions were scheduled to attend the meeting. As the minister with the energy portfolio, Pilides is responsible for the EAC. Petrides holds the purse strings.
EAC trade unions have threatened to enforce work-to-rule unless the government meets their demands – which relate to the hiring of an additional 370 workers at the state-run power company, the state and status of the Dhekelia power station, and the EAC’s role in the renewables sector.
Imminent strike action, and power cuts, were averted back in December when Koushos bought the government some time.
But subsequent reports suggested his attempts at mediation had angered the energy and finance ministers, who felt Koushos had made certain pledges to the unions in convincing them to back off. Pilides and Petrides had earlier made it clear they would not talk to the syndicates while under the threat of industrial action.
Asked about this last week, Koushos flatly denied having made any promises to the syndicates.