The human cost of council strike

Striking Nicosia Council employee, Rifat Borklu, has been reduced to begging to make a living. He has not been paid a salary for the past two months due to his union taking industrial action. Council workers were receiving their salaries late for the past year from cash-strapped Nicosia Council. However, taking strike action has created huge financial problems for him and borrowing money is not an option as interest rates are very high. Personal bank loans cost about 15% a year.

Borklu has taken up a position outside Onder market with signs asking for 1TL donations. He said that he was not ashamed of begging and that those (Nicosia Council) who had brought him to this state should be ashamed.

Borlu is divorced from his wife but has not been able to see his 12 year old child because of his financial problems. He has had to stop paying alimony and can barely afford to buy bread for himself.

An end to the dispute is in sight, however as Ziraat Bank has agreed to loan Nicosia Council 90 million TL.

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