NICOSIA, June 18. /ITAR-TASS reporter Alexei Berezhkov /. Around 100 Cyprus Airways employees gathered for a protest today near the country’s parliament. They gathered to express their indignation against the agreement reached in May, the trade unions, the administration of the company and the government.
By the parliament are tightened significant by local standards police forces. People with banners that read “We demand the implementation of the agreements“ and “The State must comply with the promises” tried to the passage before deputies’ cars, but were pushed back.
The demonstrators gathered outside the building, where lawmakers together with Finance Minister Haris Georgiadis and Communications Minister Tassos Mitsopoulos discussed the difficult situation with the restructuring of Cyprus Airways, which was on the brink of bankruptcy due to a deep financial crisis in Cyprus. In order to save the air carrier the government and the airline unions uniting its employees have reached in May an agreement on restructuring terms. According to them, about a half of its staff - 490 people – will be fired, and the salary of the rest will be reduced. In addition, the fleet of Cyprus Airways will be decreased from 11 to 6 liners. Only about 70 employees agreed to voluntarily leave the company.
According to the agreement, the dismissed were to be paid an additional allowance for a total of 20 million euros. However, recently the company has stated that it does not have such funds. In this regard, trade unions have threatened to hold an indefinite strike. On Monday, the employees of the company said that they had delay the decision to hold the strike until the end of the week as this coming Thursday union leaders and company management is expected to meet with President Nikos Anastasiadis.
Meanwhile, the administration of Cyprus Airways hasn’t made advances to the requests of employees to delay the dismissal process. On Monday, more than 200 people have received corresponding notifications. In September is planned the second wave of staffing cuts of the same magnitude. According to the calculations of company management, by the end of the year it will save 12 million euros. Cyprus Airways also announced cancellation of flights between Greek islands, which can allow saving another 12 million euros in a half of a year. However, all this steps cannot fully solve the financial problems of the air carrier, losses of which, according to experts, may reach 40 million euros by the end of 2013.