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16-09-2019 14:37 | Read 846 times

Govt averts strike, signs deal with electricity workers union

PLANS to connect North Cyprus to Turkey’s power grid via an undersea cable are “a must” if energy bills are to fall, a minister said this week after reaching a deal with union leaders that averted an indefinite strike.

Govt averts strike, signs deal with electricity workers union

Members of El-Sen, the union representing energy workers, had planned to take action on Monday if their demands for investment in the state-run electricity authority Kıb-Tek were not met.

They had previously cut off the power supply to the Finance Ministry over claims of 109 million TL in unpaid bills, warning that other government departments would face the same fate.

A late-night deal was reached last Friday, however, after Cyprus Today went to press, with union chiefs agreeing to call off their walkout.

The planned industrial action aimed to force the government into purchasing four new electricity generators and paying off its debts.

The “memorandum of understanding” signed by Economy and Energy Minister Hasan Taçoy and El-Sen leader Kubilay Özkıraç calls for a committee to be formed to “determine the investment needs” for Kıb-Tek – and to ensure that they are put into effect once agreed.

Work by the new committee is to be completed “within 45 working days” and will begin with the opening of tenders to supply the generators.

“The talks ended with a positive outcome,” Mr Taçoy said. “Kıb-Tek has always been an indispensable and strategic authority for the Turkish Cypriot people, so the government cannot and does not have a negative stance against its production needs.”

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