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12° Nicosia,
29 November, 2022
 
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Union crowd turns violent over strikebreaker bus driver

Bus drivers break picket line in Nicosia, police unable to clear way for strikebreaker to drive through

Newsroom

A crowd of bus company workers on strike in Nicosia became aggressive after a march on Wednesday, with police officers unable to clear way for a driver who broke ranks and attempted to get back to work.

According to local media, police officers rushed to the bus terminal in Solomou Square in downtown Nicosia on Wednesday morning after bus company employees prevented a driver from going on his scheduled route.

Trade unions representing bus drivers working for Cyprus Public Transport in Nicosia and Larnaca decided last week to take work stoppage measures in response to the company’s decision to lay off a number of administrative staff described as surplus employees.

 

While union members in Larnaca suspended their strike, their Nicosia counterparts took to the streets on Wednesday to complain about working conditions. After a march accompanied by police, the strikers physically blocked a bus driver who attempted to go on his scheduled route.

Fellow bus drivers quickly denounced the strikebreaker and stood in front of his bus, banging on the windows and demanding that he drove back to his parking spot.

Media reports said strikers also got into arguments with police officers and even threatened journalists at the scene to stop video recording “otherwise we will break your cameras.”

 

“You’re not going anywhere,” strikers shouted at the bus driver, with some heard in a video on live television justifying their actions while others in the background called on fellow workers to calm down and get back to the picket line.

A reporter from Sigmalive suggested some strikers held baseball bats, while the bus driver eventually parked his vehicle after police officers were unable to clear a forward path for him.

Things have been particularly tense between unions and CPT, with the labor crisis brewing on and off since the company took over the business in Nicosia and Larnaca in 2020.

CPT has issued an apology to their customers and members of the public, saying they were doing everything possible to resolve the situation.

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