Cyprus Airways unions strike threats

Cyprus Airways (CY) unions threatened strike action yesterday if the government did not compensated employees who were to be made redundant in the latest attempt to save the ailing national carrier.

Unions were told yesterday that the company could not afford to pay employees compensation, over and above what they will receive from the provident and redundancy funds.

The unions accused the government of backtracking on a previous agreement.

“Workers have no other choice but to consider all the legal measures in order to implement the agreement,” PEO official Antonis Neofytou said.

Strike measures would also be considered, he added, accusing the government of blackmailing the airline into making people redundant without any compensation.

SEK representative Marios Dionisiou said they were informed that the agreement, struck two months ago, could not be implemented.

“The CY chairman made it clear that the company cannot pay the gratuitous compensation,” Dionisiou said.

CY said yesterday it would be laying off 420 staff immediately, in addition to recent redundancies, to save some 2 million euros per month.

 “Any further delay would have led the company to closure with all the negative consequences for Cyprus’ air travel, tourism, and the country’s economy in general,” the company said.

The pilots’ union PASYPI said it was sad that a large number of people were going to lose their jobs but implementing the restructuring plan would enable the airline to recover and become a viable and profitable enterprise.

PASYPI representative Chrysanthos Hadjichrysanthou said however that the unions will try to implement the agreement on the compensations struck with the government.

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