A trade union representing employees at the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) warned on Monday of potential strikes unless they are invited to a meeting scheduled for later this week.

In a letter addressed to the ministers of energy and labour, the Independent Trade Union of Technical and Labor Personnel of the EAC (Astepaik) said they have not been invited by EAC management to attend Friday’s meeting.

That meeting will include the two ministers, EAC management, and the four other trade unions representing workers at the state-run organisation.

This would make it the third time in a row they were not invited to such gatherings, Astepaik said. The previous two meetings had taken place on November 7 and December 12.

They only found out about the upcoming meeting on Friday from media reports.

The union calls on the two ministers to intercede to ensure its participation at the next meeting, putting a stop to the “discrimination” against it.

“If we are not invited to represent our members, we inform you that even during the holiday season we shall not hesitate to take measures and actions aimed at safeguarding our legitimate rights,” the letter added.

Earlier this month, on December 11, the same union had likewise threatened strike action, issuing EAC management a 15-day ultimatum to address their work-related demands.

“These are matters we’ve been discussing for one-and-a-half years, but with no result,” the syndicate said at the time. “Patience has run out, and a large cross-section of the personnel are disappointed and frustrated.”

Representing technicians, Astepaik seeks better pay, arguing that current salaries can’t keep up with the rising cost of living.

They also complain of increased workload due to understaffing at the EAC’s power stations, which in some cases poses safety concerns at the workplace.

According to the union, qualified installation inspectors are in short supply. In addition, the widespread use of solar panels at residences means more on-site inspections, but the EAC isn’t hiring more technicians.

“Proper staffing of the organisation (EAC) entails better and more efficient service to consumers,” the union had stated.