Strik­ing work­ers get free ride

Pub­lic trans­port staff still get wages de­spite walk­ing off the job, while send­ing rev­enue losses sky­rock­et­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Althoughthe con­tin­ued pub­lic trans­port strikes that have re­cently plagued the coun­try have been a huge drain on state rev­enues, most work­ers that walk off the job have not felt the strain, as the ma­jor­ity con­tinue to re­ceive their monthly salar­ies in full, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial data.

Ac­cord­ing to their crit­ics, these “lux­ury strik­ers” are not only dis­rupt­ing the daily com­mutes of mil­lions of peo­ple, but have plunged the coun­try’s cash-strapped state-run trans­port com­pa­nies even deeper into debt.

Indica­tively, dur­ing the re­cent strikes called by unions rep­re­sent­ing Train­ose rail op­er­a­tor work­ers, around 95 per­cent of em­ploy­ees took the day off (which they were en­ti­tled to for pre­vi­ous over­time work) while oth­ers took sick leave.

The three work stop­pages staged daily over the last three weeks by Train­ose work­ers – who are protest­ing the com­pany’s pri­va­ti­za­tion – have had a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on the com­pany’s fi­nances, with lost rev­enue, since the be­gin­ning of the year, ris­ing to around 1 mil­lion euros.

More­over, in just 16 strike days dur­ing the first three months of 2016 alone, losses for the com­pany stood at 150,000 euros.

Metro strikes have had a sim­i­lar im­pact, as em­ploy­ees in their en­tirety have picked up the habit of walk­ing off the job when­ever one of the unions de­cides to call a strike.

But as it takes just one metro union to bring the sub­way to a halt, mem­bers of other unions also take part in the strike and still re­ceive full pay­ment even though they don’t show up to work, cit­ing ill­ness, or take the days off they are en­ti­tled to.

Other staff have claimed they wanted to work but were pre­vented from do­ing so by their union­ist col­leagues who mon­i­tor the strikes.

Ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis of bud­get fig­ures for 2016, one day of strik­ing costs STASY, the metro and tram op­er­a­tor, 652,221 euros (418,888 euros in lost rev­enue from the non-sale of tick­ets and 233,333 euros for one day’s worth of salar­ies for the strik­ing em­ploy­ees).

The cost of a one-day strike for bus and trol­ley op­er­a­tor, OSY, is 695,833 euros (300,000 euros from the non-sale of tick­ets and 395,833 euros for em­ployee salar­ies, even though they don’t show up for work).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.