Two-day strike to par­a­lyze ser­vices

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

All pub­lic trans­port, ex­cept for the Athens Metro, will grind to a halt to­day and to­mor­row, and pub­lic ser­vices will be thrown into dis­ar­ray as work­ers join a 48-hour strike called by the coun­try’s two main unions to co­in­cide with a Par­lia­men­tary de­bate and vote on the gov­ern­ment’s new aus­ter­ity mea­sures.

There will be no ser­vice on buses, trol­ley buses, the tram, trains, the sub­ur­ban rail­way (Proas­ti­akos) and the Ki­fis­sia-Pi­raeus elec­tric rail­way (ISAP) to­day and to­mor­row though the Metro will be run­ning. Air traf­fic con­trollers are to join the strike with two fourhour stop­pages – from 8 a.m. to noon to­day and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to­mor­row. This will dis­rupt dozens of flights, so pas­sen­gers are ad­vised to check with their air­lines.

Those plan­ning to travel by ferry should also check sched­ules as some sea­men’s unions, though not the um­brella union, have said they will join the ac­tion.

Apart from par­a­lyz­ing trans­port, the strike will also ham­per pub­lic ser­vices, leav­ing hos­pi­tals op­er­at­ing on skele­ton staff and clos­ing schools, gov­ern­ment of­fices and courts. A strike by mu­nic­i­pal san­i­ta­tion work­ers, launched at mid­night on Sun­day, may lead to trash ac­cu­mu­lat­ing in the streets of Athens and Thes­sa­loniki in com­ing days. Work­ers blocked ac­cess to the main land­fills in both cities yes­ter­day.

The two main unions – the civil ser­vants’ union, ADEDY, and the main pri­vate sec­tor union, GSEE – are to hold a joint rally at Pe­dion tou Areos, near cen­tral Athens, at 11 a.m., while the Com­mu­nist-backed la­bor union, PAME, has a sep­a­rate rally planned for 10 a.m. Two more ral­lies are planned for 7 p.m. to­mor­row – ADEDY and GSEE at Klafth­monos Square and PAME at the Tem­ple of Zeus.

Demon­stra­tors are plan­ning to sur­round Par­lia­ment to­mor­row.

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