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Tomorrow the latest on the permits of workers from third countries

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Collective contracts at the center of the debate

Αύριο τα νεότερα για τις Αδειες εργαζομeνων απo τρiτες χoρες

A new meeting will be held with the Minister of Labour, Yiannis Panagiotou, on Wednesday (03/04) by the employers' organizations and the trade unionists, on the issue of granting worker permits from third countries, with the main disagreement between the two sides regarding the process and the collective agreements. However, at last Friday's meeting, the Minister put on the table the creation of an advisory central committee, with the role of monitoring the implementation of the process.

Speaking to “SPORT FM 95.0” and the show “DISTRIBUTING NEWS”, the General Secretary of the KEBE, Marios Tsiakkis, expressed optimism that employers and trade unionists are close to a conclusion, which cannot be ruled out even tomorrow. As he said, on Friday, the Minister brought to the meeting “more specific parameters that touch the concerns of both sides”. “The dispute is with what methodology these licenses are approved for each business. “The unions have some concerns about whether a company that has a collective agreement and doesn't implement it should be given foreign workers,” he said. “The trade unions say that if you have a collective agreement you must respect the terms. We don't disagree on that. But we disagree on when a company is considered to be part of a collective agreement. When a company is bound by the contract it is bound to honor it. But a company that is not part of the contract but some provisions of the contract are covered by law, there the legislation is followed”, he clarified.

For her part, the General Secretary of the PEO, Sotiroula Charalambous, noted that the Minister presented at their last meeting a framework of parameters on which a monitoring committee operates, requesting that the terms of operation of the committee be clarified. “Employment permits must be given under the basic criterion that collective agreements are respected. We do not expect that the committee will automatically solve the issue but that it will be its role to discuss changes in this direction,” he explained. At the same time, he emphasized that it is the ministry's responsibility to operate in such a way and strategy that does not erode collective agreements. “We expect the commission's terms of reference to be such that they can address the distortions that have been created.”

The Minister of Labor, Yiannis Panagiotou, also expressed optimism that the two sides will reach an agreement, despite the distance that has been created. Asked what the position of the ministry is, Mr. Panagiotou said that collective negotiations are a necessary aspect of social dialogue. “Unfortunately over the past 10 years there has been a trend towards limited regulation of industrial relations because it was thought to offer more flexibility. Now, the orientation of the E.E. supports the extension of coverage by collective agreements. Our position is that the implementation of collective agreements has a positive effect”. Finally, Mr. Panagiotou assured that there will be no job losses for local people and if this is found to be the case, “we will not hesitate to revoke permits”.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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