Port workers and employees of the Cyprus Ports Authority plan to stage a 24-hour strike on Thursday as a way of voicing their opposition to the announced privatization of the Limassol port.
The announcement comes in the wake of the country’s council of ministers’ recent decisions that pave the way for inviting bids for privatization.
Under the tender, the Limassol port would be leased out to a private company for up to 30 years. The tender is to be issued next month. Terminal operators DP World and APM Terminals have already expressed interest in bidding for the lease.
Communications Minister Marios Demetriades urged the unions to call off the strike as it would bring more harm than good.
“This is why we created a mixed advisory committee where workers representatives participate. It is for these exact reasons that I would like to appeal to unions and employees they suspend the strikes they announced, ” Demetriades is quoted by the Cyprus Mail as saying.
The workers said that the strike is just the first step and may lead to further action depending on the government’s decision on how to address the issue.
Limassol port workers staged a strike in March refusing to load containers as they demanded more workers to be employed in addition to protesting the privatization push.
World Maritime News Staff