OSEA Workers: Express readiness to go on indefinite strike

imagew 1 1 indefinite strike, Famagusta District, buses, Nea Famagusta, Famagusta District Transport Organization, OSEA

The employees of the Famagusta District Transport Organization (OSEA) expressed their readiness to go on an indefinite strike today in case the Administrative Court rules in favor of awarding the tender for the undertaking of itineraries in the province of Famagusta to the consortium.

In a press conference given today at the OSEA offices in Paralimni, Pavlos Barnava, on behalf of the 150 employees of the Organization, stated that the conference "is not related to the ongoing court battle that OSEA is conducting, but fully expresses the concerns and uncertainty create publications but also our own investigations regarding our potential new employers, if in the end the court does not justify OSEA ".

He added that "we have full confidence in the Cypriot judiciary, which is facing OSEA's appeal against the award of the offer to the MLKP consortium" and noted that the workers' struggle "focuses on maintaining the high quality of services offered to the passenger public, protection our right to work and our benefits ".

At the same time, he denounced "the methods of certain circles of the Ministry of Transport", since, as he said, their goal is the delivery of public transport to foreign companies completely unrelated to the realities and peculiarities of Famagusta province and the creation of a monopoly on the provision of public transport. "It is estimated that a total of 75% of pan-Cypriot transport will be delivered to a single consortium, a fact that creates insecurity and disrupts workers' peace," he said.

Mr Barnabas also expressed the fears of the workers "about the employment status of the new consortium and how it operates", adding that the neoliberal practices they used in the case of Malta's public transport are indicative of the consortium's intentions. MLKP, in which MALTALINES, a Spanish-owned company, is entrusted, with Malta Public Transport. "In the first two years of their operation, they have canceled the collective agreements of the employees, since they monopolize the market, putting a knife in the salaries of the employees, reducing them by up to 40%".

As a result of the company's actions, he noted, "local professional drivers are left unemployed or looking for work in other industries and the company is looking for drivers from third countries, such as Nepal and Pakistan, so that they can continue to operate the routes." ».

The representative of OSEA employees asked the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Giannis Karousos, the evaluators of the Ministry and the Trade Unions, whether "they have investigated who the specific company and its shareholders are, what will prevent the Consortium from replacing them." cheap and dubious workers from abroad with disastrous consequences, as they do in Malta by hiring drivers from third countries to keep their paychecks at starvation wages ”.

OSEA employees also ask the Minister of Transport to be informed about the outcome of the investigation of the complaints they made before him two weeks ago when they met in his office and whether his commitment to sign any new contract before amuse all their reservations and concerns.

"We are particularly impressed by the fact that even after the publication of information about our ambitious new employers, their involvement in the Panamapapers for tax evasion / tax avoidance and other related actions, the authorities are keeping a low profile," Mr Barnabas said. , and wondered whether the Ministry of Transport does not care "the fact that they are trying with their fingernails and teeth to enter the market of Cyprus, after Malta, the two champions of Europe in corruption".

He added that "maintaining jobs and employee benefits is non-negotiable. The commitment to keep the employees and their acquis for only one year, finds the employees directly opposed and it is not going to "become" a pawn in the hands of anyone, neither the Consortium, nor the Ministry, nor the unions if they do not stand up to the circumstances ".

The "maintenance of all itineraries in the province of Famagusta" is non-negotiable, he continued. He added that "public transport is a social good and can not be treated only with accounting parameters and asked the Minister of Transport to analyze the cost of buying buses in the proposal of the MLKP consortium, after the Ministry evaluators said that the consortium offer was cheaper. from that of OSEA.

According to Mr. Barnabas, "OSEA had provided in its offer the purchase of 70 + 5 European buses, paying special attention to the safety of passengers and employees, while in Malta the same company supplies buses from Turkey. In the case of Cyprus, their intention is to buy buses of Chinese origin, which we have already tested on Cypriot roads and lag far behind the European ones, "he said, noting that" the cost of buying the 49 Chinese buses of the MLKP consortium is 5,9, 75 million euros, while the cost of 15,8 European buses from OSEA amounts to XNUMX million euros ".

After calling on the Minister, the evaluators of the Ministry of Transport and the unions to answer the question "how can they put the safety of passengers in the second place", Pavlos Barnabas said that in addition to the renewal, the total number of the fleet for run all routes smoothly. "How is it possible that OSEA, with 10 years of experience in the province of Famagusta, needs a total of 75 buses to complete all routes and that the foreign consortium plans to purchase only 49 buses?" He wondered.

Another question posed by OSEA employees to the Minister of Transport is "what will prevent the MLKP consortium from canceling 'barren' routes which serve social, political but not for-profit policies and dismissing a corresponding number of drivers, since in its forecast for its bus fleet, it will have a total of 26 buses less ".

Referring to the next steps of the employees at OSEA, Mr. Barnabas said that they will request an immediate meeting with the Minister of Transport to be informed about the results of his investigations into the complaints before him, they will inform the European trade unions - professionals drivers and securing their support in our race, will launch a campaign to inform the passenger public of the province of Famagusta about the negative effects on public transport, if the MLKP consortium is finally valid, while protest rallies will be organized outside the Administrative Court and the Administrative Court. Transport to safeguard and secure their rights.

The workers also called on Mr. Karousos to "take initiatives to prevent the destruction of public transport" made by the workers in the last 10 years, stated that they would closely monitor the developments in the issue and expressed readiness "to go on indefinite strike." ».