Tuesday, 4 April 2023
The row between Kib-Tek management and the electrical workers’ union El-Sen has escalated after wide ranging power cuts occurred across the country yesterday morning, Yeniduzen reports.
Kib-Tek insists that there had been “sabotage“, while El-Sen says that there were malfunctions in four generators at the Teknecik Power Station because of a “lack of investment“.
Meanwhile, nine regions across North Cyprus still have no electricity.
Kib-Tek Chairman of the Board Hüseyin Pasha told Yeniduzen that the state electricity authority was not responsible for the power cuts, repeating his claim that they had “probably resulted from external interventions“.
El-Sen, which began acts of civil disobedience yesterday in protest against the Public Procurement Amendment Bill, which it described as the “law of donating to AKSA”, carried out an act of civil disobedience. The union denied responsibility for the power cuts, blaming the government for lack of investment in Kib-Tek.
The union argues that if the aforementioned draft law becomes legal, Kib-Tek will be handed over to private Turkish energy company AKSA and electricity bills will increase threefold.
The Draft Law which foresees the state taking over Kib-Tek’s debts to AKSA valued at 600 million Turkish Lira was being debated on Monday.
Last week, the union decided to go on general strike in protest, but the strike was banned for 60 days by the Council of Ministers
Kib-Tek’s Board of Directors will meet to discuss the issue. Board chairman Hüseyin Pasha stated that EL-Sen is currently carrying out acts of civil disobedience and that they will meet with union leaders.
He said that it is not normal to have so many power cuts across the regions at the same time. Referring to the union’s statement that these are due to a lack of investment, Pasha said, “I hope it is only because of this“.
The protest is supported by other unions including KTAMS and KAMU-İŞ, who held a rally in front of parliament on Monday. They also called for a strike but were forbidden by the government to do so for the next 60 days.
The unions called for all minute-takers at parliament not to work overtime. Consequently, stenographers left the Assembly building at 4pm, causing the General Assembly to be suspended. This led to a delay in the contentious bill being enacted.