Gov't to issue civil mobilization orders, minister says

Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis on Thursday said the Greek government will issue civil mobilization orders to make Athens metro staff, who have been on strike for eight days, return to their jobs.

Hatzidakis, who is responsible for transport, spoke after a four-hour emergency meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the issue.

“Unionists have decided to take the path of blind confrontation and not to respect the decisions of Greek justice,” said Hatzidakis adding that the government was left with no other option.

The measure of civil mobilization – used against seamen, truckers and street cleaners in 2010 and 2011 – means that employees will have to return to work or face the prospect of going directly to jail.

There was no immediate reaction form the unions.

Earlier on Thursday worker representatives said they would suspend their action if the government committed to maintaining the collective labor agreement, which expires on April 30, before negotiating a new deal.

Workers are objecting to a reduction in their salaries that has resulted from their induction into a new civil service wage structure.