The planned meeting between representatives of trade union Segdamelin Peo and the Larnaca marina and port managing company Kition Ocean Port saw Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou reiterating his support for the union, as he conveyed to the managing company the necessity to refrain from hiring external contractors.

Workers at the port and marina contracted by Kition threatened to go on strike on Wednesday after the managing company employed external contractors on several occasions for overtime work, instead of using its own staff. The strike was eventually called off, as the parties decided to meet under the auspices of the labour minister.

“The agreements between the employer and the employees need to be respected, that is the most pressing issue which was discussed today,” Segdamelin Peo’s Larnaca secretary-general Nadia Kyritsi told the Cyprus Mail.

Kiritsi confirmed that Panayiotou understood the importance of the workers’ grievances.

The issue was not the overtime work, it was related to the fact that Kition, of their own accord, decided to employ external contractors for overtime work, when it clearly violates the agreement stipulated with them back in February,” she said.

The marina and port’s managing company on Wednesday called the strike “unwarranted” and “unjustified,” specifying that it was a small fraction of workers that went on strike but charging there was no prior warning and that the strike did not adhere to the Industrial Relations Code procedures.

“If the agreement is respected, there will be no reason to strike again,” Kiritsi said, adding that the parties will reconvene at a meeting in Nicosia next Tuesday “to assess the situation.”

“Any change in the agreement signed by Kition and the workers in February will need to be rediscussed at the collective bargaining renewal, which will take place in June 2025.

“Until then, Kition needs to respect the agreement, there is no question about it,” Kiritsi concluded.