Court calls for rehiring of 397 sacked Finance Ministry cleaners

An Athens court has accepted an appeal by hundreds of Finance Ministry cleaners who were put into a so-called mobility scheme of forced transfers and dismissals, the womens' lawyer Yiannis Karouzos said on Friday, referring to a "landmark decision."

According to Karouzos, the Athens Court of First Instance upheld the appeal by the 397 workers, ordering that the women be rehired.

A total of 465 Finance Ministry cleaning staff who were put in the mobility scheme last year as part of a troika-imposed overhaul of the civil service. Of those, 397 appealed against the decision, describing it as illegal and unconstitutional.

Angry workers have staged a running protest outside the Finance Ministry's headquarters on Nikis Street for months.

The court decision comes as the eight-month period of assessment, during which it is decided whether staff are transferred to another civil service post or dismissed, is set to expire.

Hundreds of employees in other parts of the broader civil service including the education and health sectors have also protested the mobility scheme, most with industrial action such as strikes rather than legal appeals.