NICOSIA – Some of the thousands of passengers stranded at Cyprus’ Paphos International Airport when baggage handlers went on a sudden strike were able to finally return home – but without their bags.
They were promised the luggage would be sent later but people weren’t happy about the situation that saw the government of President Nicos Anastasiades caught unawares and doing damage control over the blow to tourism.
“A large number of bags have been sent to their owners,” Hermes Airports communications representative Pieris Panayi told the Cyprus Mail but the paper said as of Nov. 4 that bags and suitcases were still piled up at the airport.
“The timeframe for their delivery is an issue of the handlers,” Panayi said, steering clear of any responsibility although the company is supposed to manage the airport’s operations.
A traveler who arrived back at his Northern Ireland home on Nov. 2 after holidaying said he was still waiting for his luggage and was unable to contact someone for information about where it was.
“So, (I) really do not know what to do next… the problem is still here for us, and I am sure lots of holiday makers who arrived on the same day,” he said of the embarrassing dilemma for the government.
The workers struck because they said they had received layoff notices but the government said talks were being held and that it was an unlawful work stoppage said to have affected more than 20 flights.
The dispute was resolved the same night following the intervention of the transport ministry that said that a new company taking over some operations failed to abide by the agreed upon decrees.