Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou sent out a message to the social partners on Saturday in his Labour Day message that unions and employers must both strive for industrial peace that creates prosperity for all.

The message comes a day after his met with unions to propose a compromise agreement on the restoration of the contested cost of living allowance (CoLA), which the unions say has left them disappointed as they push for full restoration of the wage benefit.

In his message, Panayiotou underlined the importance of human-centered work in developing the economy and ensuring social cohesion.

“Workers’ rights and the regulation of labour relations are the result of social struggles,” the minister said.

“Modern states adopt rules and social partners reach agreements that ensure labour peace and create prospects of prosperity for citizens,” he added.

Panayiotou also said Labour Day, marked on May 1 every year, was an annual reminder of the importance that the state, trade unions and employers’ organisations must attach to work as a common point of reference that produces and creates added value, which must be distributed fairly and substantially.

The minister acknowledged that contemporary challenges for the working environment were significant and needed to be appropriately addressed to create a future that reflected hope for better conditions, safety, dignity, equality and solidarity, harnessing technology, and reconciling personal and professional life.

“At the same time, the state’s investment in the knowledge, skills and abilities of employees through professional learning is necessary for the continuous upgrading and strengthening of employees so that they can realise their full potential,” he said.

“With a high sense of social responsibility, we welcome the anniversary of Labour Day and respond to the duty of safeguarding labour rights for the present and future of labour,” he concluded.