Strike at Ercan airport
PASSENGERS were left sleeping on seats at Ercan airport after trade unions carried out a six-hour strike on Monday.
The action was in protest against the government’s decision to delay an increase to this year’s cost of living allowance for public sector workers by four months.
Three flights that should have taken place by the afternoon were cancelled due to the strike, while dozens of passengers who arrived at the airport for a flight to İstanbul and connecting flights to the UK had to wait several hours. Flights resumed after the strike ended at 3pm.
Civil Aviation Office head Mustafa Sofi told
Cyprus Today’s sister newspaper Kıbrıs that Anadolu Jet and Pegasus each had one scheduled flight that was unable to make it to the TRNC. A Turkish Airlines aircraft was able to land at Ercan but was unable to take off to return to Turkey because of the strike, he added.
Passengers, including elderly and disabled people in wheelchairs, who had been due to fly to İstanbul and catch a connecting flight to London, told Kıbrıs that they were concerned that their negative PCR test results required for entry to the UK could “expire” due to the delays.
A joint statement read out by the leaders of three trades unions – Ktams, Kamusen, and Kamu-İş – and supported by staff from the Civil Aviation Office, said that the “officials running the country should have discussed their approach with us and corrected mistakes made regarding the cost of living allowance”.
Kamusen president Metin Atan said that the cost of living allowance suspension affects approximately 100,000 workers.
Kamu-iş leader Ahmet
Serdaroğlu pointed out that since the government has taken no precautions regarding the increase in living expenses, the cost of living allowance should not be considered a raise in salary “as it merely helps consumers keep up with rising costs”.
Ktams head Güven Bengihan said that the government’s decision was “merciless and irresponsible” and “the last straw”.