Finance Ministry to appeal court ruling ordering rehire of sacked cleaners

The Finance Ministry said on Thursday that it would appeal a court ruling ordering the temporary rehiring of hundreds of cleaning staff who were suspended eight months ago as part of a civil service overhaul.

The Athens Court of First Instance last week upheld the appeal by 397 workers, describing their suspension as illegal and unconstitutional and ordering that they be immediately rehired by the ministry. The latter, however, said it would appeal the lower court’s decision, which, it said, challenged the central tenet of the so-called mobility scheme that Greece has been seeking to implement as part of its commitments to international creditors.

Protesting the ministry’s failure to rehire them in accordance with the court’s ruling, dozens of the laid-off cleaners barricaded themselves inside the foyer of a Finance Ministry office in central Athens on Thursday. The women have been protesting outside the ministry’s headquarters almost daily since September.