3rd October 2018, Nicosia

The World Federation of Trade Unions, a founding member of whom is PEO, has established 3rd October as the International Action Day of Working People. This year’s International Action Day is dedicated to the struggle for the right to social insurance and free health for all.

At a time when working people are suffering from the consequences of the ongoing imperialist interventions and wars, austerity measures, privatizations of public utility organizations and attacks on labour rights, the WFTU remains the consistent force in asserting working people’s rights all over the world.

The neo-liberal economic and political circles have targeted social insurance systems. They are extending the retirement age, cutting pensions, and at the same time using fiscal problems as an excuse to promote the privatization of social insurance and implementation of private insurance plans.

At the level of the European Union, through the European Semester process and the recommendations that the European Commission submits, the increase in the retirement age and its link with life expectancy, as well as the so-called supplementary insurance to private insurance companies are increasingly and more intensely being set as demands

PEO joins its voice with the millions of working people belonging to WFTU and rallies its forces in the struggle to defend and expand our rights.

In Cyprus we are continuing the struggle to:

– Protect the pension system and restore the debt settlement program of the state towards the Social Insurance Fund through the creation of a real reserve fund

– Review the 12% levelling penalty for those opting for retirement at 63, taking particular into account the given situation of specific groups of working people, such as workers in arduous and unhealthy jobs.

– Implement the General Health Scheme so that there won’t be any regressions and the NHS Bill to be implemented as it had been approved.

Finally, in view of the possible resumption of the negotiation procedure under the auspices of the UN with a view to achieving a mutually acceptable agreement for a solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of our common homeland, we reiterate the unanimous demand of both the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot trade unions participating in the All-Cyprus Trade Unions Forum for a single social insurance system, as well as a single system of payment and labor rights within the framework of a single labour market where the right to choose a job and an employer throughout the territory will be safeguarded.