Cyprus bids to stem effects of industrial action

The Cyprus Mail reports that the country’s politicians have passed a law with immediate effect restricting the right of air traffic controllers to strike.

The government bill will make it a criminal offence for any ctontroller to refuse to work when required, and provides for penalties of up two years in prison and/or a fine of €2,550. The penalties are provided for under an existing law.

The new law states: “It is prohibited for any person, who under the terms of his employment has an obligation to provide air traffic control services, to refuse to provide these services citing the right to strike, if the exercise of this right leads to a downgrading of the said services below the minimum acceptable level of management of air traffic.”

The minimum level has been set at 75 per cent for the summer season (May-October), meaning that controllers must at any one time manage at least 75 per cent of overflights in Nicosia’s Flight Information Region, and at 50 per cent for the remainder of the year.

The Mail reports that under the new law, work stoppages cannot occur more than once a week, each strike cannot exceed two hours in duration, and no more than eight flights may be affected per strike. In addition, simultaneous shutdowns at the Larnaca and Paphos airports are prohibited.

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