Limassol porters stage wild cat strike

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Limassol porters went on a two-hour impromptu work stoppage on Tuesday morning asking for reassurances that they would all be hired by the private companies that will take over operations in January.

The work stoppage, between 7am and 9am, took the ports authority and the unions off guard as no measures were announced.

The Cyprus Mail has learned that the 62 porters had demanded that they are all hired by the private investors who will take over operations at the port on January 29, 2017.

Workers also made enquiries as to the compensation they would receive from the government, €1.5m in total. The work stoppage ended after union representatives and the ports authority alleviated the concerns of the porters.

The commercialisation of the port’s operations became possible after the government agreed to compensate affected licenced companies and their workers with over €28.6m as well as offering assurances to the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) employees on job security.

Porters and CPA workers, who in the future will supervise the port’s operations, repeatedly went on strike, often without notice, to force the government to accept their demands on compensation and job security. CPA workers will be offered the choice to either continue working for the new port operators, retire early, or request transfer elsewhere in the civil service.

A number of porters are expected to be hired by the new port operators, while the rest will have to seek employment elsewhere, a porter told the Cyprus Mail.

In April, the government signed agreements with the winners of a competition for the commercialisation of Limassol port operations, expected to fetch Cyprus €1.9bn over the next 25 years.

The government signed a contract for the container terminal with the Eurogate, Interorient and East Med Holdings consortium and two other contracts with a consortium led by Dubai Ports World which together with G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Plc Ltd, a Nicosia-based shipping and logistics company, will handle general cargo and maritime services.
Soruce: Cyprus Mail