Joint action across communities against wage cuts

Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot workers, members of FP SEK and TOURKSEN, took joint action earlier this month against British Government plans to slash wages of workers at the Sovereign British Base areas in Cyprus. All civilian workers in Limassol (Episkopi and Akrotiri) and in Larnaca (Dekelia) took five days of action from 7-11 September. The strike was decided after a deadlock in the negotiations between the two sides and after the employers side announced that cuts in wages will be applied by the end of September 2015, ignoring the advice of the Ministry of Labour of Cyprus not to make any cuts in wages or change any agreed labour regulations without the agreement of the two sides. During the strike Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot workers enjoyed an excellent spirit of cooperation and solidarity stressing their common belief to principles of trade unionism but also showing that the two communities can work and live together in a unified island. The employer side, after the high pressure they received from all workers in the British bases, invited trade unions for further discussions. (Many thanks to Michalis Michail of SEK for this report)

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