YESTERDAY, building contractors and trade unions reached an agreement in principle on their collective agreements, bringing the indefinite building strike to an end after nearly three weeks.
The two sides accepted new proposals put forward by Labour Minister Sotiroula Charalambous, which provide for the collective agreement to run until June 30, 2014. Both sides expressed thanked Ms Charalambous for her efforts.
Under the new agreement weekly salaries will remain the same with craftsmen, labourers and semi-skilled workers receiving €440, €380 and €403 respectively.
Ms Charalambous said that the agreement is an important step in the right direction for the benefit of the island’s construction sector, which has been severely hit by the economic crisis, adding that the agreement will help regulate sub-contracting and also combat unfair competition among construction firms.
The unions’ general assemblies are expected to ratify the agreement today.
Construction workers in Cyprus went on strike to protest against new collective agreements proposed by the building contractors and the large influx of cheap, largely unskilled, foreign labour who they accused of taking their jobs.
The strike flared into violence in Paphos last week when police confronted striking builders who tried to stop strike-breakers who were brought in to take over the work at a hotel construction site.
The striking workers are expected to return to work immediately.