Racing staff in pay cut strike
AROUND 50 members of Nicosia Race Club’s (NRC) administrative staff went on indefinite strike yesterday in protest against a five per cent pay cut.
As a result, all races on Wednesdays and Sundays will be affected.
Staff held banners outside the race course reading “our demands are fair” and “a strike is happening here”.
“The club sent a letter to cut five per cent of wages and the employees don’t accept this one-sided decision,” said Pantelis Stavrou, general secretary of SEK’s Federation of Transport, Petroleum and Agriculture Workers. According to Stavrou, no discussions took place and the employees simply received a letter informing them of the cuts that would take place as of March 1.
Stavrou explained that it is now in the hands of the Ministry of Labour and only an intervention from them will bring about a solution.
“The Ministry of Labour called both sides to have a meeting next Thursday but the club rejected [this offer],” said Stavrou.
He said both the unions and the employees insisted on discussions to find a “peaceful and logical solution” but claim that the employers’ side takes an “incomprehensible stance that has led the situation into a dead end.”
NRC has been hard pressed for funds in recent months due to the economic crisis. The head of marketing George Hadjiminas told the Cyprus Mail in a recent interview that the crisis has caused legal bets to fall by 30 per cent so that the management are now eating into their savings. This means that it reduces the prize money for owners and limits the amount that a customer can win back, fuelling illegal betting away from the track.
Manager of the Nicosia Race Club, Themis Themistocleous stated that he did not want to comment “on something ongoing” in case it “affected the outcome”.
Holiday Inn employees also took strike action yesterday for about an hour and a half, claiming that they had not been paid yet for February. However after a meeting at the Ministry of Labour, between the unions, SEK and PEO, the ministry and the hotel owners, an agreement was reached. According to Pericles Pericleous, general secretary of the Federation of Hotel Employees at SEK, they were simply waiting to make sure that the employees’ salary had reached their accounts now.