NEWS

Commuter upheaval due to minority decision

ALEXANDRA KASSIMI

TAGS: Transport, Strike, Politics

As the patience of Athenian commuters was once again put to the test on Monday by the 24-hour strike of the capital’s metro workers, questions were raised over the legality of the work stoppage.

Reports said the strike was announced on Friday by the 1,100-member metro workers’ union (SELMA) without convening a general assembly, as is required under new labor union laws governing industrial action.

According to these rules, a strike can be called if it is approved by a majority vote in the general assembly, but reports claimed that no more than 90 people took part in the decision.

For his part, SELMA president Spyros Revythis claimed that 360 workers signed on to the strike.

But critics say the figure still remains far below the 50 percent threshold.

Given these shortcomings, critics have raised questions as to why the metro operating firm STASY did not mount a legal challenge to the strike.

In its announcement on Friday, SELMA said it was striking to protest shortages in staff and equipment that, it said, are compromising the efficiency of the Athens metro.

The union, moreover, slammed the operating firm’s management for engaging in dialogue with workers that are affliliated with a certain political party.

“We will stand against any members of the establishment that seek to promote people whose sole attribute is party allegiance, and use mobster practices in order to bully any worker who has an opposing view or compromises their interests,” the union said.

Last month European officials hit out at Greek authorities for a lack of independence in the public sector and warned against the practice of putting political allies in key posts.

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