NICOSIA - Court bailiffs interrupted a board meeting of debt-ridden Cyprus Airways to hand prosecution orders to eight members in regard to criminal lawsuits filed by the national carrier’s pilots.
There was no official comment from the company on Friday, the day after it was made public.
“Eight out of the 11 board members are to face criminal charges over their decision to cut the employer’s contribution to the provident fund of the pilots without their consent,” an insider said.
Two of the other three members were absent from the meeting when this decision was taken and the third is a pilot himself and had voted against it.
A month ago, 60 out of the carrier’s 71 pilots decided to file private criminal law suits against the airline.
In a written statement after a general meeting, they had said: “The decision taken is that every member proceeds with private criminal law suits against those who took the decision to illegally cut the company’s contribution to the provident fund”.
It added: “The general meeting authorizes the board to instruct their legal advisor to submit the cases”.
The angry pilots argued that the arbitrary action of the reduced contribution had been preceded by “too many” salary cuts.
The provident fund contribution by the struggling employer was cut from 8 to 1% for a 15-month period for all company staff.
Pasipy – the pilots’ union – is the only one out of a total of five that had refused to accept the cut which is part of a restructuring plan that included many lay offs and redundancies.
At the same time, Opposition Akel’s mouthpiece Haravgi on Friday said that an additional seven employees were fired this week.
Five of them are engineers, two are ground staff and another two are aircraft cleaners.
All of them accused the management of acting arbitrarily and without taking consideration the family or personal state of affairs of those sacked.