Government ponders civil mobilization as sailors extend their strike

The government is examining the possibility of issuing a new civil mobilization order to force sailors to return to work after they decided on Sunday to extend their strike into this week.

Kathimerini understands that government officials, including Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, discussed on Friday and Sunday forcing the seamen to abandon their strike.

The measure was used last month to make Athens metro workers return to work after a nine-day strike.

Seamen decided on Sunday to extend for another two days their strike, which began Thursday.

The Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) are demanding back pay for the workers from ship owners, a collective wage agreement, and an end to undocumented and uninsured employees.

The workers also want the government to cancel a plan to regulate the minimum number of dock workers required in each crew, saying that would lead to layoffs.

The government believes that because the strike has cut off a number of islands from the mainland, it would be justified in issuing civil mobilization orders.