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Legal issue affects continued employment for Larnaca port workers

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Legal issue affects continued employment for Larnaca port workers

Larnaca Marina

    A legal obstacle has arisen regarding the future of dozens of workers at the Larnaca Port and Marina, who found themselves out of a job after a 1.2 billion euro development project by Kition Ocean Holdings collapsed.

    According to filenews, Kition failed to send a termination letter to the employees but instead sent a letter transferring them to the state, which has now taken control of the port via the Cyprus Ports Authority.

    According to trade unions SEK and PEO, the company is required to send a termination letter to the workers so that they can be rehired by the Larnaca and Famagusta Development Company. Otherwise, the company will continue to be responsible for their salaries and rights.

    “For the official transfer to the Development Company to take place, Kition [the contracting company] must issue a termination of employment so that they can be reassigned. The letter sent by Kition is not a termination of employment but a transfer letter. However, for this transfer letter to be sent, there must have been a business agreement, i.e., a sale and purchase between parties,” stated Nadia Kyritsi, Secretary-General of SEGDAMELIN-PEO.

    Charalambos Avgousti, Secretary-General of OMEPEGIE-SEK, added that the unions were informed that the Ministry of Labor would inform the company that ‘they must continue paying the workers since they have not terminated their contracts.

    < p>The company maintains they followed relevant legislation and sent a letter based on the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2000 (TUPE law), ensuring all 89 employees are protected. They have also provided legal counsel to the workers.

    The TUPE law safeguards employee rights during business transfers, including automatic transfer to the new entity. This applies to public sector acquisitions, as confirmed by Cypriot and European court rulings.

    While an initial agreement envisioned hiring 69 workers for the port and marina, the legal dispute casts a shadow on the process.

    The workers met Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras on Thursday to voice their concerns. The Mayor pledged to discuss the matter with relevant ministers and schedule further talks next week.

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