Unions call strikes against labour reforms

first_imgStrikes are set to disrupt flights and public transport next week, as unions rally against a shakeup of labour rules that will cap public sector salaries and further loosen job safeguards.The General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) has called a 3-hour work stoppage throughout the Attica prefecture for Tuesday, December 14, beginning at noon.GSEE also called a protest demonstration that same day at 1:00 p.m. at Syntagma Square in downtown Athens. The civil servants’ union (ADEDY) has also called for a three-hour work stoppage on Tuesday and a nationwide strike for Wednesday to protest wage cuts in government corporations and enterprises.  A spokesman for GSEE called the draft law “unacceptable”, saying it would sweep away fundamental labour rights. “We will reverse it, in action, with our struggle,” the spokesman, Stathis Anestis, said, adding that the mobilisations will not stop with the December 15 general strike it has called, together with its counterpart civil servants’ umbrella federation Adedy, but will continue “for as long as the one-sided policies that put the burden exclusively on the backs of the working people continue”. Anestis emphasised, “Our protest action will, in practice, not allow these changes to be implemented.”An air traffic controllers’ association said on Friday that flights will be halted for 24 hours on December 15 after it decided to join a broader strike.Public transport services in greater Athens will also be stopped by separate 24-hour strikes on Tuesday and Thursday, December 14 and 16.Journalists are to strike too, on Wednesday December 15, as well as Friday December 17 and Saturday December 18, demanding that the publishers take back recent lay-offs and comply with the labour contracts.Bank workers’ unions are also planning a 48-hour strike starting Tuesday.The Papandreou government announced the labour amrket reforms after talks in Athens this week with top officials from the European Union and International Monetary Fund on implementing conditions to receive 110 billion euros in bailout loans.EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn and IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn both urged Greece to speed up structural and tax reforms — as opposed to one-off spending cuts — in their talks with Greek officials.But unions and opposition parties strongly denounced the labour shakeup.Source: Associated Press, Athens News Agency, Athens News Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more