Cyprus: Strike action in urban public transport

On 1 February 2016, around 100 drivers of Larnaca's buses, operated by Zenon, staged a 24-hour strike in protest over pay. According to union representatives, drivers had in 2013 agreed to a pay cut as an act of goodwill in the face of the company's financial problems. However, that agreement ended in December 2015 and in 2016 drivers demanded that their salaries be restored to previous levels. Industrial action was initiated after Zenon refused drivers' demands. (According to sectoral trade unions, drivers faced additional problems – such as poor working conditions and the poor state of repair of the vehicles.) Similar action was taken by drivers in Limassol public bus company EMEL, who also announced a 24-hour strike on 5 February 2016, demanding the restoration of their reduced benefits according to their original employment contracts.

Industrial action on Larnaca's buses was called off on 8 February 2016, following the mediation of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance (MLWSI). According to the General Secretary of the Cyprus Agricultural, Forestry, Transport, Port, Seamen and Allied Occupations Trade Union (SEGDAMELIN-PEO), the agreement provides for the restoration of part of the income cut in 2013, essentially providing for further concessions from highly paid workers to cover the money returned to low-paid workers. Drivers for EMEL, in Limassol, also called off their strike after reassurances from Minister of Labour Zeta Emilianidou that discussions to resolve their issues would begin.

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