BUSINESS

Chinese Embassy issues complaint over strikers’ port blockade

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Shipping, Protest

The Chinese Embassy in Athens has filed a complaint with the Greek government concerning Thursday’s blockade of the cargo terminal run by China’s Cosco at Piraeus by disgruntled port workers.

The complaint called on the government to protect China’s significant investments in Greece and came after dozens of unionists prevented Cosco employees from getting to work on Thursday by blocking the two entrance gates to the cargo terminal but also the company’s management building at the port.

The protest by the unionists, the majority of whom belong to outside contractors, created serious problems in the port’s operation and also affected sensitive cargo like shipments of medicine, sources from the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) have said.

Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli and OLP CEO Fu Chengqiu reportedly met with Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroublis, but were unable to secure the mobilization of the port police to end the blockade and allow workers into the facility.

The issue is expected to arise again as port workers are seeking the hiring of more staff and a raise of as much as 25 percent as part of a new collective labor agreement.

Online