Federation cites 'over-profitability' of consumer and retail sector
They will claim, together with the other trade unions, full payment of the ATA and an increase in a number of benefits, the Pancypriot Federation of Independent Trade Union Organizations (POASO) announced on Monday, referring to the “super-profitability” of the consumer and retail sector, “amidst the distress of the medium consumer and the salaried employee”.
POASO and the members of ASDYK, PASE-ATIK, PASE-DITA, PA.SY.NO, S.E.P.AIK, SIALK, SYV.AIK, and SYMA. they say in a statement that companies in the consumer sector announced “a significant increase in their turnover and profits” for the half of 2023, surpassing the levels of 2019, “reflecting the rise in the prices of goods and products as a consequence of inflationary pressures, but at the same time they claim a recovery of the economy and the consumer climate, despite the challenges caused by international developments”.
“According to press information, the profits of the seven companies in the sector that announced financial results for the six-month period, amounted to €6.1 million from €4.7 million in the first half of 2022, recording a huge increase of 29.1%”, it is noted.
“A corresponding increase in consumption is also recorded for retail trade, where the turnover volume index increased by 7.4% in the semester of 2023 compared to the semester of 2022, while it is increased by 15 .5% compared to the half of 2019”, it is added. Also, it is noted, the Retail Trade Cycle Value Index increased in June 2023 by 8.4% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
“The above figures demonstrate the super-profitability of both the consumption and retail sectors, amid the hardship of the average consumer and the wage-earning employee,” says POASO.
“Their increase in earnings paints a false picture of an improving economy, but the truth is that some are simply improving their pockets at the expense of consumers and wage earners,” he says, noting the official figures presented by the Statistics Office on October 19, 2023. and that although in nominal terms average gross monthly earnings have increased by 7.1% over the previous year, in real terms, deflated by the Consumer Price Index, average gross monthly earnings have decreased by 1.2% .
According to the Statistical Service, an annual decrease is occurring for the first time in real terms since 2014, it added.
It is also noted that the highest percentage of employees (15.4%), in gross monthly earnings, receive between €1,000 and €1,249, while 50% of employees receive a salary of less than €1,500. “Employees in this category are asked to cope with this income while inflation and the increase in lending rates are running, while employers' organizations are reacting to the payment of ATA which, after 5 years of complete freezing, is being given limp to 66.7% of its value,” it added.
“Amidst unprecedented precision and rampant inflation, companies in all industries are reporting surplus profits, and the General Government is announcing constantly surpluses,” the organization says. It concludes that, “the only ones who do not get but their position in the economy on the contrary recedes and worsens, are the workers”, that is why POASO and its member Trade Unions will claim, together with the other Trade Union Organizations, full payment of the ATA and increasing the range of benefits.