Famagusta District: Bus drivers continue their work stoppage - Normal student itineraries

Aim not to bother parents and students

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Ready to go on indefinite work stoppage, having the dynamic support of the residents and organizations of the province of Famagusta, state that they are the drivers and staff of the Transport Organization of the Province of Famagusta (OSEA) and Intercity Buses, who return and today, Tuesday, January 28, outside the Administrative Court in Nicosia where a decision will be made on the appeal of the Intercity Buses against the agreement of the Ministry of Transport and a new bus consortium.

In their memorandum, the employees of the Famagusta District Transportation Organization (OSEA) call on the Administrative Court and the Ministry of Transport “to make second thoughts on the award of the bids and to appreciate the experience and support of the local community which stands by its side. company and OSEA employees ”.

The bus drivers from Famagusta province staged a protest yesterday, Monday, January 27, outside the Nicosia Administrative Court and then headed to the Ministry of Transport, from where they left shortly to return to their base and serve the students.

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In their memorandum, OSEA employees express "fears about the employment status of the new consortium and how it operates", adding that "the neoliberal practices of the consortium in the case of Malta's public transport are indicative of their intentions." ”.

They note that "the maintenance of our jobs and benefits are non-negotiable while the commitment to maintain our employees and our acquis for only 1 year finds us strongly opposed".

OSEA wonders "what will prevent the consortium from replacing us with cheap and dubious drivers from abroad, with disastrous consequences since in Malta the same company brings drivers from Pakistan to keep the payroll on starvation wages".

They add that "public transport is a social good and can not be treated only with accounting losses" calling on the Ministry of Transport, "to conduct an evaluation and satisfaction of the passenger public by OSEA to see the extent of our social offer."

Drivers and OSEA staff are particularly concerned about the fact of the "renewal of the consortium of buses of this consortium with vehicles outside European standards and from destinations of cheap and dubious quality".

Concluding, they state that “OSEA belongs to all of us and are not simple accounting numbers, while there are many times when together with the management we solved problems without the employees ever going on any strike. We preserve this stable and healthy working environment with all the power of our soul ", the memorandum finally notes.

Assurances from Caruso

Assurances to the drivers and the staff of the Famagusta District Transportation Organization (OSEA) that he will investigate the data provided to him and the concerns for their future from the new bus contracts for the period 2020-2030, was given yesterday by the Minister of Transport Giannis Karousos. A delegation of OSEA drivers, as well as intercity bus drivers (Intercity) who went on strike yesterday (only student routes) met with the minister yesterday, after the protests they held in the Supreme Court.

It is recalled that the 2020-2030 contracts for the province of Famagusta and intercity buses (as well as for Nicosia and Larnaca), have been awarded by the Ministry of Transport to the consortium of Malta Lines and Kapnos Airport Shuttle. The Nicosia Convention has already been signed, while court proceedings and decisions are pending on the remaining three agreements.

The drivers expressed their anxiety for the next day, as they report that they consider unacceptable the fact that the ministry accepted the offer of the MLKP consortium, thus confirming the gross labor cost of € 6,30 proposed for the decade 2020-2030, compared to real gross cost that currently ranges at € 12,40 and is expected to exceed € 13,5 (ATA, GESS, new contracts, etc.) in 2030.

Also, the representatives of the drivers of OSEA and Intercity, asked the minister for guarantees that he will not be victimized and that staff will be fired, since according to them, for the province of Famagusta, the Ministry of Transport has approved the consortium contract for the decade 2020-2030 to operate with 49 buses, compared to the approximately 80 that are currently used to serve the province, while a similar reduction of the fleet is foreseen for the intercity routes.

Giannis Karousos explained to the employees that his priority is to protect the rights of the employees and that he will investigate these data and inform them. It should be noted that the competition provided for the maintenance of the existing rights of the employees for one year, while it provides for the categories of employees that the contractor must accept. The employees stated categorically that, "the commitment to keep our employees and our acquis for only one year finds us strongly opposed". They themselves are concerned that the policy of one of the two shareholders of the Malta Lines consortium to attract cheap labor - referring to drivers from Pakistan - may be transferred to Cyprus.

The guarantee of workers' rights, as well as the maintenance of all itineraries in the province of Famagusta for the next ten years, is non-negotiable, they note in a relevant memorandum they submitted. At the same time, they express fears, “about the employment status of the new consortium and the way it operates. "The neoliberal practices they have applied in the case of Malta's public transport are indicative of their intentions."

The employees will carry out a new work stoppage today - excluding again the student itineraries - outside the Administrative Court where the appeal of OSEA against the Ministry of Transport is being examined.

Invited after the meeting of the Council of Ministers to comment on the work stoppage of employees, on the occasion of the agreement of the Ministry of Transport with another Consortium on public transport in the province of Famagusta, Mr. Karousos said that there is a bidding process and a contract has been awarded , while there are some lawsuits.

The Minister of Transport stated that for the case concerning the contract for the Nicosia District, the court has already issued its decision and the contract has been signed, while according to Mr. Karousos, the decisions for the remaining cases are expected until the end of week.