As gov't issues civil mobilization orders, teachers plan legal action [UPDATE]

As the government on Monday started issuing civil mobilization orders to secondary school teachers who have called a strike for May 17, the first day of university entrance examinations, the union representing them OLME appeared likely to answer with legal action.

State officials started distributing the mobilization orders in the morning and were expected to have completed the process by the afternoon.

Speaking to Skai television on Monday, Tasos Petropoulos, a labor lawyer who represents OLME said that the union would appeal to the Council of State, the country's highest court, for the civil mobilization order to be overturned.

On Sunday, OLME called on the country's two main labor unions, GSEE and ADEDY, to support their cause. ADEDY on Monday reportedly expressed its opposition to a teachers' strike during the exam period but sources indicated that it was planning to call a fresh 24-hour strike for the day before the exams, May 16. GSEE was expected to back the call.

The government has insisted that strike action by Greece's 88,000 secondary school teachers during the exam period was unacceptable as it would jeopardize the plans of tens of thousands of university students. Speaking to ANT1 television channel on Monday, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said the civil mobilization was the only way of averting «a threat to the public interest.» «You cannot hold 100,000 families hostage by taking their children hostage,» he said.