Electricity union in Northern Cyprus launches indefinite strike against privatisation

- [update->art8355] (20 January 2012) Workers in the North Cyprus electricity company KIB-TEK started strike action on 19 January 2012. The strike hits electricity production and effects several business activities. The union took the strike action when the conservative government send proposals for privatisation of the company to the Parliament. The union had been seeking to negotiate with the government over solutions but the government rejected discussion and alternatives. The government and municipal companies have many outstanding debts to the company which wreck the company. The government has also entered into long-term and expensive Power Purchasing Agreements with a private company. Wrecking the public company and privatizing it will favour this other company and cost the citizens a lot of money in the long term. Attached is a briefing from the union. The government of Northern Cyprus, the part of the divided Island in which the Turkish Cypriot community lives, is a conservative dominated government. That government pursues austerity policies similar as those in the rest of Europe. Large parts of the population oppose these measures as demonstrations and actions in 2011 underlined. The North-Cyprus union EL-SEN is a member of the independent confederation Turk-SEN which is a member of ETUC and ITUC. EPSU has sent a letter of solidarity to the union. For more details see also the report of EL-SEN below: