Battle lines with unions drawn

The Council of Ministers met yesterday to urgently review the problems arising from the dispute between management and workers at Nicosia Council. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Kucuk.

We have been reporting over the past week about the growing mounds of rubbish in Nicosia’s city streets and public open areas. These have been causing health problems and major public discontent.

At the end of the Council of Ministers meeting last night, Minister of the Interior, Nazim Cavusoglu, read out a press statement. This statement outlined the decisions that the Government has reached on this issue. The decisions were:

  • Security at Council Buildings would be strengthened to allow for undisturbed working.
  • Council employees who were still striking on Monday would be investigated and would no longer be paid.
  • Nicosia mayor and Council management  who did not carry out their duties would be subject to legal action to be removed from their roles.
  • All rubbish must be cleared from the capital by Sunday 4th November.

The Interior Minister went on to say that the Government had now done all that it could to help the people of Nicosia. They had over recent weeks put pressure on the Nicosia Council management to resolve the strike and had also transferred significant funds to the Council.

During the Council of Ministers meeting yesterday afternoon, there were demonstrations by the two major unions involved, BES and Turk-Sen. This demonstration disrupted traffic and got a mixed reception from home-bound commuters, some of whom alighted from their cars to remonstrate with the protesters while others joined the demonstration.

Union officials stated that they would carry out a similar protest outside the Prime Ministers building today.

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