In a press briefing yesterday, Caglayan Cesurer, Head of the El-Sen union which represents electricity workers, said his union was totally opposed to the recent measures signed in the Economic Programme 2013-2015. He was specifically against the plan to privatise Kib-Tek, TRNC’s electricity supplier and distributor.
The TRNC electricity grid is due to be directly linked to that of Turkey, through the new pipeline being built. As a result of this and under the new Economic Programme, Kib-Tek will then be privatised.
However, Cesurer pointed out that Kib-Tek only had 620 staff against a planned number of 800 and this shortfall was hindering them in carrying out their duties. He said we should be looking to South Cyprus and Malta as examples where electricity supply was state owned. He declared that if any part of Kib-Tek was touched, he would call out his members on indefinite strike.
Cesurer then went on to address the debts owing to Kib-Tek, which he alleges are over TL 600 million. He said that if these receivables were collected then Kib-Tek would be in a healthy financial position. He also pointed out that Kib-Tek pays more in bank loan interest than it does in salaries and pension payments to its employees. Specific organisations were named as non- payers, including the Religious Affairs department (TL 6 million), Nicosia Council (TL 44 million) and Bayrak Radio Television (TL 19 million). Individuals and private companies totalled a further TL 170 million but Cesurer reported that political pressure is often applied to ensure that some individuals would not be pursued or cut off. However, he said if this pressure continued in the future then his union would go ahead and name and shame the individuals concerned.