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CYPRUS: Hotels backtrack on staff pay deal after Thomas Cook debacle.

26 September, 2019

The collapse of Thomas Cook has reignited the standoff between hoteliers and unions which appeared resolved earlier this month after a pay deal averted industrial action.

Hoteliers argue an agreement on the renewal of the collective agreement should be put on ice for now while the impact of the UK travel group going bust is fully understood.

The agreement saw a strike in the key tourism sector averted at the last minute after hoteliers and unions came to an initial understanding after Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou intervened.

Haris Loizides, president of the Cyprus Hotels Association (CHA), said in light of the crisis caused by the collapse of Thomas Cook, the renewal of the collective agreement should remain on the side lines for the time being.

Loizides compared the crisis caused by the demise of the British tourist colossus to the financial and banking crisis of 2013.

His comments sparked a reaction from unions who demand that hoteliers honour their agreement.

Miltos Miltiadou, the General Secretary of SEK's hotel workers union branch called on hoteliers to give a definite answer on whether they agree to the proposal tabled by Labour Minister Emilianidou on 2 September.

Lefteris Georgiades, general gecretary of PEO's respective branch, believes hoteliers seek to suspend the agreement, thereby demonstrating their disrespect towards procedures followed and staff which made sacrifices since the crisis.

He noted that workers have lost 28% of their income since 2012.

The two union leaders reminded Loizides that the crisis of 2013 did not affect the tourism industry to the same extent as other sectors of the economy as it saw record arrivals and revenues over the past four years.

Emilianidou's proposal would see workers receive a 5.5% pay rise over a period of 4 years.

Unions had accepted the proposal, while hoteliers said they would reply once they hold meetings with their members.

Hoteliers expressed concerns over the proposal prior to Thomas Cook's collapse saying labour costs would rise by up to 15%.

Hotels and unions have argued over the renewal of the collective agreement since December.

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Publication:Financial Mirror (Cyprus)
Date:Sep 26, 2019
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