A general strike on January 26 is the first measure trade unions have announced after Tuesday’s meeting with employers’ organisations and Labour Minister Kyriacos Koushos over CoLA ended in an impasse.
The meeting lasted less than half an hour after the Minister informed participants that the latest economic figures do not allow him to submit a mediation proposal for CoLA.
The level of inflation did not allow either side the flexibility to back down from their positions, he added.
“I believe that the distance that exists between the two sides is so great that it gives me absolutely no possibility to submit, at the present time, a mediation proposal that has the slightest hope of being accepted,” Koushos said.
A new agreement has to be signed following expiration of the previous 2018-2020 one.
The Minister also said the trade unions had led him to believe they were ready to accept a gradual – and not an immediate and total – reinstatement of CoLA.
And that the employers had accepted the agreement of July 2017 and undertook to implement it, that is, payment of 50 per cent CoLA.
However, on Tuesday, Koushos said that during the meetings he had in the last few days, it became clear that the sides are not yet ready to differentiate their last recorded positions.