Customs officers refute port stalling


The country’s federation of customs officers, OTYE, on Wednesday rejected claims that cargo handling at Thessaloniki port had declined due to ongoing industrial action that started last September, noting there had actually been a considerable increase in traffic.

Business associations in northern Greece have repeatedly complained about their exports suffering delays due to employees’ decision to refuse to work the night shift at Gate 16 of Greece’s second largest port for more than six months.

Nevertheless the figures OTYE provided on Wednesday indicate that domestic containers destined for export have shown a growth trend in the last six months: In October 2017 export containers increased 1.88 percent on a year earlier, while the increase last month from February 2017 amounted to a remarkable 33.28 percent.

In the same statement OTYE referred to specific entities “which regularly publish untrue views in order to stain and undermine the fair struggle of more than six months by employees at the First Customs Office of Thessaloniki and, by extension, the entire customs sector.”

OTYE further argued that the customs officers’ decision not to work the shift from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. does not mean the port is not operating, as cranes move faster at night than during the day.