Vassiliko workers strike over wages, Cyprus

Vassiliko workers strike over wages, Cyprus
Published: 09 February 2012

Tagged Under: Vassiliko Cement Cyprus 

Some 170 employees of the Vassiliko Cement Public Company staged a 24-hour warning strike over wage disputes, according to reports from the Cyprus Mail.

Workers unions PEO and SEK accused the company of unilaterally proceeding with austerity measures which violated the collective agreements currently in place.

Measures include the scrapping of wage rises and increments, changes in the overtime payment system and the handing out of only 50 per cent of the 14th salary.

Despite the wage freeze on 2011 levels, the Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA) for 2012 was handed out normally, while wages were increased by 3.4 per cent in 2011.

After holding a general meeting on site while on strike, builders complained that they should have been consulted before their benefits were scrapped and warned that further measures would be taken if overtime and increments were not paid.

“If the company does not reconsider, Limassol will only be the beginning,” warned SEK representative, Panikos Kadis.

In a statement issued yesterday, the company said that the wage freeze was the only way to ensure it remains afloat and said that the construction industry was severely hit by the financial crisis, with cement sales falling steadily since 2009.

Cement sales in January 2012 noted a 33.4 per cent fall from last year, while the whole of 2011 experienced a 40.6 per cent decrease.