16 April 2014 15:57

Union federations PEO, SEK and DEOK representing hotel employees are pushing for the strict implementation of the collective agreements and relevant legislation in order to protect workers' rights.
Only weeks before the launch of the summer tourist season, unions have reported that "more than 160 Cypriot workers have been fired in the last six months".
They say most of them held permanent positions and have since been replaced by cheap labour, mainly by third county nationals, under "humiliating employment conditions".
The unions discussed the issue of dismissals and multiple violations of the agreement during a meeting with House Labour Committee members and chairman Andreas Fakontis.
Unions accused some hoteliers in the industry of "unacceptable behaviour, one-sided actions and often blackmailing employees".
They also reported that hotels are now offering salaries that range between €500 and €900 per month for six days work a week and provide no 13th salary, provident fund or public holidays.
Trade unions complain that conditions for existing employees are no better as hoteliers use blackmail to alter the employment conditions in terms of pay and other benefits.
They told MPs that "those employees who do not give in to employer pressure are targeted and eventually fired, using various excuses to make them redundant".
The unions asked MPs to legally regulate the basic employment terms including five-day weeks, holidays and 13th salary.
Complaints were also made to the chairmen of the association of Cyprus tourist enterprises Akia Vavlitis and the Cyprus Hotel Association (Pasyxe) Haris Loizides, requesting them to force their members to fulfil their obligations.
Unions and hoteliers' associations met on Monday to discuss the legislative regulation of the collective agreement's basic terms but the request was rejected by Vavlitis and Loizides.
The unions also raised the issue of hotels who are planning to hire a large number of students from hotel schools abroad for free or for the small amount of €200-€300 per month, for training purposes.
The two chairmen said they would look into the issues and come back to the table, assuring the unions that their aim is to preserve normal working relations.


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