181 contracts terminated

Cyprus: Unions urge Labor Minister to intervene in mass layoffs at City of Dreams Mediterranean

2023-11-28
Reading time 1:26 min

The Peo and Sek unions, representing hospitality sector workers in Cyprus, have made an appeal to the Labor Minister for intervention in the recent mass layoffs at City of Dreams Mediterranean, a new casino resort in Limassol, on the island's southern coast. Operator Melco has confirmed that 181 employees have been made redundant, escalating tensions at the site.

"We demand the immediate intervention of Minister of Labour, Mr Yiannis Panayiotou, who had committed on the day of the casino-resort's inauguration to make efforts to resolve the issue," the trade unions announced through an official statement.

The unions highlight an "insecure work environment" at the resort, reporting that employees face constant uncertainty and lack of union protection. They also claim restricted access for unionists at the resort's facilities, contributing to a climate of "workplace anxiety, intimidation, and denial of fundamental freedoms," as well as various threats of dismissal.

"The unions have been overwhelmed by workers’ complaints from both dismissed workers and workers who continue to work in insecure conditions as they do not know if the next day someone will knock on their door to serve them with a termination letter. Unfortunately, the absence of trade union protection leaves workers vulnerable and unprotected," Sek and Peo stated.

In July, at the time of the resort's inauguration, the unions held a protest, accusing the company of not allowing syndicalists to access its workplaces. The unions now commit to supporting the affected employees and providing individual assistance as needed.

In response, Melco attributed the layoffs to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza, which drastically affected the resort's business operations, leading to a substantial reduction in hotel occupancy and the number of international visitors. The company expressed regret over the adverse effects on the 130 dismissed employees and the 51 probationary employees whose contracts were not extended.

The operator emphasized that the selection for termination was based on seniority, in compliance with Cypriot labor laws, and committed to offering ex-gratia packages "beyond the legal minimum and above industry practices."

Furthermore, the company reported that it is seeking new employment opportunities for the affected employees, in cooperation with other local and international businesses.

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