LGS Handling Ltd, which oparates at Larnaca and Paphos airports in Cyprus and provides aircraft, passenger and cargo ground handling services, has sent letters of redundancy to 111 of its employees at the airport of Larnaca and 42 at the airport of Paphos. Following the liberalization of the relevant licenses, LGS lost one of its biggest customers at Larnaca airport, WizzAir, as well as EasyJet in the Paphos Airport; both airlines now outsource the relevant services to a new company, Skyserve.
When information about LGS losing the service to a new handler (Skyserve) begun circulating, the employees at Paphos airport went on a two-hour strike, and the companies managing the airports, the trade unions and the government begun a process of social dialogue about the matter. The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works gave assurances that there will be no redundancies and that there will be full employment for the staff. According to the March government degree which liberated the licenses for the related services, when a volume of work is moved from one company to another the staff will also be moved; however, Skyserve annouced that it is at full employment with far less employees that were previously working on the WizzAir and EasyJet contracts when they were handled by LGS. For the past few weeks LGS has been reducing the wages of its employees, before finally announcing the redundancies. With the announcement of the redundancies, all employees of LGS and Swissport at the airport of Larnaca went on a two-hour strike, and negotiations will commence once again on the 2 November 2022 at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works.
After the employees at the airport of Paphos also went on strike, and after many hours of consultations between the trade unions and the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, it was decided that 28 (out of 42) employees at Paphos airport who were made redundant and wish to continue, will be employed under the same conditions and with a status of continued employment.
The Ministry assured that the same will be done at Larnaca airport, however an extension until 9 November was given to the consultations, in order to clarify how many employees actually wish to continue working, as there is a number of them who are considering voluntarily choosing redundancy, mainly due to age. It is understood that 21 out of the 28 employees will be transfered under the new company.
The aim of the Ministry is that all employees who wish to continue to work should be allowed to continue as normal, and until the end of negotiations the Larnaca airport employees are back to work. As such, the future of the 111 redundant LGS employees at Larnaca airport is still unclear, as is the final number of redundancies. At Paphos airport, redundant employees are reduced from 42 to 14, however 21 employees are transfering to Skyserve, bringing the total job reduction for LGS in Paphos airport at 35.