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24 July, 2024
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Taxi drivers to strike at Larnaca airport

Professional networks feel threatened by licensed newcomers


Taxi drivers serving the Larnaca airport plan to go on indefinite strike Thursday to demonstrate what they describe as unfair treatment and indifference by the Transport Department.

Just as the summer pre-season is gearing up with early arrivals, taxi drivers who are members of the “Ayios Christoforos” and “Finikoudes” professional networks will attempt to possibly block the airport area outside Larnaca Airport, starting at 8am Thursday.

The drivers have been complaining about the Licensing office within the Transport department, saying officials are “hostile” towards professional taxi drivers and follow a policy that keeps changing against their network.

The problem at the core is an increasing number of additional licenses, which have been issued or are being issued to new drivers, who are not members of the professional networks.

With shuttle buses being licensed to do runs from Larnaca airport to resort towns, the taxi driver networks say there should be more restrictions in the licensing process

Taxi drivers see this move as a threat to their occupation and livelihoods, as most of their work is generated over the summer. But with special shuttle buses being licensed to do runs from Larnaca airport to resort towns, such as Protaras and Ayia Napa, the networks are crying foul, saying there should have been more restrictions in the licensing process.

“With such decisions, they put us all, not just professionals but also all other Cypriot legal citizens, in a second class,” according to a statement from the strikers.

Other grievances include taxi rest stops, with drivers saying there are changes coming but officials are not interested in listening to the networks’ opinions.

The main issue with most professional taxi drivers is that new licenses are given just for the summer, which is the period they get the bulk of their work. Protesters believe summer licenses should not be handed to newcomers, because it is lucrative for those who want to work for the summer but not during the less profitable winter time.

An open-ended strike is scheduled to take place Thursday morning at 8am outside the Larnaca airport.

Cyprus  |  Larnaca  |  airport  |  taxi  |  Protaras  |  Ayia Napa  |  shuttle bus

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